Wanted couple convicted of $2.4m fraud caught near Gympie
A WANTED couple with a string of complex cattle fraud convictions amounting in the millions of dollars was arrested in the Gympie region on Tuesday and extradited to New South Wales.
Christopher Collins and Sharyn Ciccolini, both 46, were found in the region after adjisting cattle on two Woolooga properties on the Wide Bay Highway.
Kingaroy rural crime squad Detective Sergeant Mark Ferling said police were alerted to the pair, who had breached parole conditions in NSW, after they moved cattle across the border into Queensland.
In 2014, Collins and Ciccolini pleaded guilty in the Cairns District Court to a series of dated fraud and stock thefts, ABC Rural reported at the time.
This included forging Northern Land Council documents which purported they had $2 million worth of cattle.
Ciccolini used the forged documents to secure a $2.6 million bank loan to buy a cattle station at Laura in the Cape York Peninsula and to secure a $615,000 bank loan for a Tully business in northern Queensland.
The couple was also convicted of stealing cattle from a neighbour which they re-branded and sold at an auction.
Ciccolini was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail, suspended after seven months, and Collins was sentenced to two years in jail, suspended after six months.
Both Collins and Ciccolini were wanted on warrants for breaching parole, when they were found by the Kingaroy rural crime squad in the region this week.
They were taken to Murgon Magistrates Court, before they were extradited to NSW, where they appeared in court and were returned to jail, a NSW Police spokeswoman said.