Ruttley fuel thief convicted, fined $10k after pleading guilty

Former Ruttley Freightlines employee pleads guilty to stealing fuel, as more people will face court accused of theft

Ruttley fuel thief convicted, fined $10k after pleading guilty
Ruttley fuel thief convicted, fined $10k
By Brad Gardner | July 9, 2010

A former Ruttley Freightlines employee has been convicted of theft and deception and ordered to pay compensation after pleading guilty to stealing fuel from the company.

Robb Morrison has been ordered to pay $9950 to Ruttley Freightlines for his role in illegally using a company fuel card.

Melbourne Magistrates Court convicted him of two counts of theft and 40 counts of obtaining property by deception following a lengthy police investigation into a fuel scam stretching back to 2008.

Morrison was also sentenced to three months imprisonment. The sentence was suspended but he will be on a good behaviour bond for 18 months.

Along with fellow employee Peter Howarth, Morrison was accused of giving a fuel card to owner-drivers Laurie Jones and Brett Smith to use despite the fact both did not work for Ruttley.

Howarth, Jones and Smith have pleaded not guilty. A hearing will be held on July 27 to determine a date for a court case.

Footscray Police Station Sergeant Greg Teesdale alleges the theft cost Ruttley’s about $44,000.

The search is still on for others accused of involvement, with Teesdale saying more arrests will cause the final dollar figure to change.

"We’ve had no luck with any others yet," he says of the search.

The NSW-based Ruttley Freightlines operates interstate with about 130 prime movers. Owner Bob Ruttley says his company spends more than $3 million a month on fuel.

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