A 20-year-old man has evaded a potentially decade-long jail sentence after trying to scam $2000 from Optus customers affected by its September data breach.
Dennis Su, 19 at the time, pleaded guilty in November to texting 92 Optus customers and demanding they transfer $2000 to a CBA bank account “or face their personal information being used for financial crimes”.
Su was sentenced instead to an 18-month community corrections order on Tuesday.
“He’s a young person, has no criminal antecedent, and on all counts, he is an intelligent person,” magistrate Emma Manea told Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.
Ms Manea and the Crown agreed the scam was relatively unsophisticated but deliberate.
“It was his own number, it was his brother’s account – he was going to be caught,” the magistrate said.
She told the court she believed Su was remorseful and his early plea showed acceptance of what he has done.
Su downloaded personal information from a website that shared breached Optus data, telling police he was having a difficult time being unemployed and wanted to make some “quick money”.
No one ever transferred the money, however one person responded with an emoji, according to the agreed facts of the case.
Su then returned to the data-sharing website and gathered more information about the victim to “prove his credibility”.
He responded by saying: “The police have your details, and I have nothing you can gain so good luck”.
The teenager then deleted all the messages before being arrested on October 6.
He is not accused of being involved in the Optus hack which exposed the personal details of 10 million Optus customers in a data breach in September 2022, including customers’ passport, licence and Medicare numbers.
The attendance of Su’s parents in the courtroom and their continual support showed high prospects of rehabilitation, Ms Manea said.
The Rockdale man must report to Sutherland Community Corrections within seven days and complete 100 hours of community service as part of his conviction.
“Mr Su, what I’ve done is make you make a promise to be good,” the judge said.
“Good luck, put this behind you. It is very serious but it is what you do with yourself.”
Su apologised to his victims outside of court and said he realised he was going to be caught from the beginning.
Su’s instructing solicitor Lisa King believed Ms Manea made a “good decision”.
“It is good for the justice system and it is also beneficial for Dennis,” she said outside of court.
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