Insurance scammer stole $120k to fund his life on ‘gay scene’


medibank insurance scammer melbourne adelaide gay scene
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A South Australian man who stole $120,000 from insurance company Medibank in Melbourne to fund a “high-end” lifestyle of clubbing and drugs has turned his life around.

A Melbourne judge sentenced Dwayne Antojado (pictured) to time served after he pleaded guilty to obtaining property by deception, the Herald Sun reported.

The 26-year-old has spent 606 days on remand for the crime.

Antojado earlier plead guilty to using 109 fake identities to open Medibank insurance accounts from October 2018 to December 2019.

He paid the cheapest premiums and lodged false claims by exploiting a loophole in an online insurance claim system.

Police uncovered the fraud in 2019, and in total, Antojado had stolen $120,901, the court heard.

Lawyer Matt Cookson said after the Adelaide man graduated as a “high-achieving” student he’d suffered “one crushing defeat after another”.

In his home of South Australia, Cookson said Antojado felt pressure to fit in with the gay scene. Antojado described that scene as “heavily based on going out, clubbing, being fit, healthy and well-dressed”.

“Everything I’m not,” Antojado lamented.

Dwayne Antojado was previously jailed interstate for same Medibank scam

Antojado started the insurance fraud against Medibank while living in South Australia. He went to jail in that state after the earlier fraud was discovered.

“Effectively that offending was how he got the money to keep up with the lifestyle he’d adopted,” Cookson said.

“It was through that money that he acquired the lifestyle.”

While out on parole, Antojado fled to Melbourne. There, the man restarted the same insurance scam, again against Medibank.

In Melbourne, Cookson said he was “drawn” to Melbourne’s nightclub scene and spent money on cocaine and MDMA.

In her ruling, Judge Kellie Blair said Antojado’s motivation for the more recent crimes in Victoria was similar.

“Your prior offending occurred in the context of you seeking acceptance from the gay community in Adelaide and adopting a lifestyle you could not afford,” she said.

Judge impressed with convicted fraudster’s rehabilitation

The 26-year-old has served 609 days on remand. In that time, his turnaround was “exceptional” and he’d also demonstrated “ongoing rehabilitative achievements,” Judge Blair said on Friday.

Antojado was employed and enrolled in university, his lawyer told the court. He also appeared regularly on panels to discuss his experience in custody.

The man had also co-authored an academic article set to be published, the court heard.

“You have demonstrated a commitment and ability to make a difference to other individuals who are and have been incarcerated and who’re struggling with a myriad of issues that prevent them achieving sustained and positive change,” Judge Blair said.

“You’re now free to continue your life as a law-abiding citizen who has a significant contribution to make in this community.”

The judge also ordered Antojado pay back the money he stole from Medibank.

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