A former Launceston chartered accountant facing stealing and misappropriation charges totalling more than $267,000 told the Launceston Magistrates Court he would plead guilty.
But Magistrate Sharon Cure would not accept his indication of plea.
James Redmond Burrows, 35, now of Hawthorn East, Victoria, appeared before Ms Cure via a Zoom call on 16 counts of stealing by misappropriation, 17 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and one count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception between July 12 and July 31, 2019.
Mr Burrows said that he had engaged Victorian barrister Damien Shields. He said he had requested documents relating to the case from Tasmania Police over the past week but the lawyer had not had time to look at them. He said that documentation amounted to 500 pages. When she asked him what he was going to do Mr Burrows said he would be pleading guilty.
"Has he told you to enter a guilty plea?" she asked. "Yes," he replied. "I have admitted guilt to the [Australian] Tax Office and to the police."
Ms Cure asked him if the lawyer had sat down with him and told him to plead guilty. He said the lawyer was still going through the material.
"I can't accept that. I'm not accepting a plea of guilt when counsel are looking at material relating to 34 counts," she said.
"It is clear you have made admissions but I need him to have given you advice." Ms Cure directed that he plead on October 11 at 2.15pm.
Police allege Mr Burrows, through his role as a tax agent, misappropriated individual tax returns and falsified business activity statements for his financial benefit from September 2017 to March 2020.
Court documents reveal that Mr Burrows is alleged to have stolen more than $14,000 from Benjamin Caulfield, more than $52,000 from Grant and Marie Chugg, $21,843 from Lisa Miller and obtained a financial advantage of more than $20,000 from Heather Williams and $19, 216 from Blue Phoenix Super.