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Trucking boss has $3.8m fuel excise fraud appeal rejected

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Former SA trucking boss Reginald Roberts, 68, has lost a last-ditch appeal against his conviction for $3.8 million in fuel excise fraud and the 10-year sentence he was ordered to serve.

On Thursday, Court of Appeal President Mark Livesey and Justices Sam Doyle and Sophie David unanimously rejected both of Roberts’ appeals.

The grandfather of nine was already serving a 10 year sentence for his role in the state’s largest ever meth haul, worth $270 million.

In March 2021, the former boss of the Old No.7 fleets was found guilty of 75 counts of fraud for making claims for the fuel rebate by pretending he had more trucks than he did.

Roberts created three fake companies in 2002 – RR Logistics, Inter Link Freight Services and Phillip Williams Pty Ltd – to rort the federal government’s diesel fuel rebate, which returned 18.51c a litre to trucking companies.

Roberts was paid $3,809,000.03 in rebates he was not entitled to after claiming for hundreds of thousands of litres of diesel for non-existent trucks.

At the time of the trial he was already serving a 10-year sentence for attempting to possess 313kg of methamphetamine.

The shipment was hidden in the bases of two truck jibs and angle grinders were needed to remove the casing and expose 313 individual 1kg bags of methamphetamine.

The shipment was replaced with rock salt, returned to the tow truck jibs and then sent on to Adelaide.

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