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Queensland cat owner goes to jail for fraudulent flood claim

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 7 Jan 2014
2010 Queensland floods where many boats were lost and made claims .. .
Maybe we'll never know, he could have been a good sailor, but there's no prizes for smarts (or ethics) for this Queensland man who successfully claimed $60,000 for his live-aboard catamaran by claiming that it was washed away in the infamous Queensland floods of 2010.

Lex Adams claimed the money from the government for the boat he insisted had washed away with many others that did, like the ones pictured above.

However, at the same time he told a quite other story to Cruising Helmsman about the loss of his boat, the Courier Mail reported.

The Brisbane District Court this week heard that as Adams had pocketed most of the cash in 2011 he had already written a detailed feature article about the day he ran his uninsured boat into a sandbar off Townsville in August 2010.

In January 2011, Adams applied for financial assistance as a victim of the floods and received cheques for $170 and $1285.

In March that year he applied for further assistance and over the next three months had $57,000 from the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal deposited in his bank account.

But that same month the sailing magazine Cruising Helmsman published his article under the headline: 'The day my life changed forever – battler loses everything to sandbar'.

'The boat was uninsured and a total loss,' he wrote for the magazine, which he had first contacted about the article in October 2010.

'I don't know what I am going to do now ... That's life, I suppose. Just keep trying and keep your dreams in sight!'

Adams, 62, pleaded guilty to two charges and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years' jail to be suspended after 12 months - not, we're confident, a dream he had in sight.

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