Sauce with Jeni Porter
Date: November 13 2004
Livid about a book launch (overall heading for column)
As well as being scheming, cunning and lacking any scintilla of remorse, the 'Nigerian'* internet scamster Nick Marinellis is also a NSW Justice of the Peace. Or, at least, he was until we alerted the Attorney-General's department this week.
Exactly how Marinellis, sentenced this week to at least five years' jail, met the stringent criteria of being "of good character" is unclear. He also managed to persuade a NSW MP to nominate him. Sadly, it was so long ago that the AG's office was unable to advise your columnist which member of the upper or lower house signed the form.
After becoming a JP and before his $5 million fraud, Marinellis was convicted in New Zealand in 1997 of indecently assaulting a female over the age of 16.
He skipped the country after being ordered to do six months' periodic detention and was arrested on a return trip to NSW.
Marinellis, who used at least 10 aliases, was also registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as a securities representative, albeit briefly, from October 14 to November 16, 1998.
During sentencing, the acting District Court judge Barry Mahoney noted the earlier offence and that Marinellis was listed as being a licensed finance broker and a JP, and suggested that this "raised questions about the quality of record-keeping in NSW".
*This means the "Nigerian" scam, it has nothing to do with the residence or nationality of the man involved.