Ben James Butler has been charged with 23 counts of fraud.
Ben James Butler has been charged with 23 counts of fraud.

Accused Gumtree fraudster ‘embarrassed’ by 27 charges

An accused Gumtree fraudster charged with swindling more than $8000 off customers has been refused bail.

Ben James Butler appeared at Maroochydore Magistrates Court by video from the watch house on Friday to face 27 charges.

The court heard Mr Butler allegedly defrauded more than 20 people after advertising items for sale online between September and January.

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Police prosecutor Brendan Newman objected to a bail application saying it was likely Mr Butler would be sentenced to jail if found guilty of his charges.

"This is a calculated plan by the defendant (allegedly) posting things on Gumtree, receiving money from people interstate and in Queensland," Sergeant Newman said.

"The community needs protection from this defendant."

Duty lawyer Leisel Rogan said Mr Butler had a limited criminal history and was at risk of spending too much time in custody if he wasn't granted bail.

She said Mr Butler had battled a methamphetamine addiction which he was committed to addressing if released from custody.

"He has indicated he is extremely embarrassed and remorseful in relation to this offending," Ms Rogan said.

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Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said Mr Butler had previously been fined for a fraud offence and was on bail at the time of some of the recent alleged offences.

She said fraud offences were easily committed and hard to detect.

"That's the reason we have to protect the community," Ms Baldwin said.

She said there was strong evidence against Mr Butler and refused his bail.

The matter was adjourned to February 5.


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