Tanker drivers in fuel shortfall scam

Scott's Transport Industries employees hatch plan to tamper with tracking devices to allow theft of Woolworths petrol

November 20, 2012

GPS proved key to uncovering a 2011 fuel-theft scam by tanker drivers, a Parramatta Local Court judgement shows.

Former Scott's Transport Industries truck driver Mark Andrew Reynolds pleaded guilty to his part in the theft and his explanation to the court shows that but for a working GPS tracking unit that Reynolds overlooked after the drivers had disabled them on other trucks, the scam might have run for much longer.

As it was, an audit of an electronic tank monitoring and gauging system, present in fuel storage tanks, proved the shortfall had occurred and GPS tracking showed Reynolds had spent time in his truck away at a different retailer's
service station.

In a statement to the court, Reynolds says a group of drivers at Scott’s, which subcontracts to Woolworths which operates Woolworths-Caltex petrol sites around the Sydney, had organised a regular shortfall of petrol deliveries.

A comprehensive audit identified 24 occasions where there were significant fuel discrepancies in deliveries that Reynolds had made.

The drivers had received 50 cents a litre for the fuel.

In Reybnolds's case,
232,648 litres valued at $305,534 was
taken over a period of more than five months.

Delivery dockets were falsified to cover up the thefts.

Reynolds was sentenced to three years with a non-parole period of two years and was ordered to recompense Scott’s the maximum allowable in a local court, which is $100,000.

But he has appealed his sentence, a government spokesman says.

Two other drivers are reportedly to face court in January, one of whom had also admitted his guilt.

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