7 March 2023

Man pretending to be spy, bikie swindled nearly $120,000 from Cooma victims

| Albert McKnight
Start the conversation
courts building

Ryan James Brian Cole, 31, was sentenced in the Queanbeyan Local Court. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

A man was handed a jail sentence for defrauding nearly $120,000 from two victims in Cooma by pretending to be an officer from a spy organisation as well as a member of a bikie gang.

Ryan James Brian Cole was convicted in the Queanbeyan Local Court on Monday (6 March) on six counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

He claimed he was an officer in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to his first victim and defrauded him out of almost $87,000 for his “protection”, court documents say.

The fraud took place on four occasions in Cooma between July and October 2017 and included one payment of $65,000.

READ ALSO Man dies in police custody in Goulburn

When it came to the second victim, Cole not only claimed to be an officer of ASIO, but also a member of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

The court documents say he deceived this victim and dishonestly obtained $30,000 from him on two occasions in Cooma in early January 2018.

The total amount defrauded from the two men was $116,950. Cole pleaded not guilty to his charges, but was found guilty at a hearing.

The 31-year-old from Springdale Heights, outside Albury, came before the court for sentencing on Monday.

READ ALSO ‘You have thrown your reputation away,’ magistrate tells former mayor sentenced on drugs charges

Magistrate Roger Clisdell found special circumstances existed for him due to his health and sentenced him to a total of 18 months’ jail with an eight-month non-parole period.

He also made compensation orders for the victims worth the total amount that had been defrauded from them.

Afterwards, Cole flagged his intention to appeal his convictions and sentence. He was granted bail and his appeal will first be mentioned in the Queanbeyan courts on 1 May.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.