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Sir Terence O'Rort
6 July, 2005  
Marshmallow pumps gas

Credit card trouble at the Queensland Law Society as former professional standards director chalks up a feeble $15,000 in eight months. At least Ross Turnbull would have given the card a decent trashing

imageFormer Director of Professional Standards for the Queensland Law Society, Nick “Marshmallow” Masinello (seen here) has pleaded guilty in the District Court of Queensland to a charge of fraud with circumstances of aggravation concerning his misuse of a QLS credit card.

In sentencing submissions before District Court Judge Wylie, Crown Prosecutor Mr Meredith told the court that Masinello had used his QLS Amex card 42 times between February and September 2002 to pay for goods and services to the value of $15,095.08 for his own personal use.

The court fined the professional standards guru $3,000 and did not record a conviction. The Bowen Hills Bugle reported that Masinello was now running a service station and grocery outlet at Mudgeeraba but that he “hoped to regain his ability to practise as a solicitor”.

He’ll need all the luck he can muster in getting back his ticket if Daphnis de Jersey’s sermons from the Legal Practice Tribunal are to be heeded. Nowadays, it seems, not having your pencil properly sharpened comes pretty close to professional misconduct.

Judge Wylie said that the case was a “sad tale” which did not merit a sentence of actual jail time.

Some of the old hacks at the QLS can now breathe easier in the knowledge that should there be tiny misunderstandings about items charged to the plastic, at least they’re not looking at the prospect of being banged-up in pokey.

It’s funny how accounting probes at the QLS so frequently dredge-up something murky.

Sir Terence O’Rort reporting from Brisbane