A Current Affair reports…
“Notorious Gold Coast conman Pastor Steve Jones has this evening been sentenced to three years in prison, but will be eligible for parole within 13 months over a solar power scam which saw him net hundreds of thousands dollars from trusting families.
During today’s court appearance, Jones’ full criminal history was revealed – dating back to 1978.
As well as fraud, Jones has also committed indecent exposure offences over a period of 20 years, he has also faced multiple theft charges as well as causing malicious injury.
Jones has also been convicted for conducting an unregistered charity and falsifying books, a scam which netted him $21,000.
The pastor was today sentenced for a 2010-11 fraud, which saw him fleece an estimated $400,000 from hundreds of Queensland families who he promised to install solar panels for.
Instead, the conman stole their deposits, pocketing $900 from each customer.
Today his lawyer told the court Pastor Steve was suffering depression and that his indecency offences were a matter of “trying to prove oneself where inadequacy lies.”
One woman has detailed her ordeal with Jones to A Current Affair.
Professional carer Maree Putuwai claims she was duped by the fraudster, after responding to a Gumtree advertisement allegedly posted by Jones’ mother, looking for someone to care for her son who had been injured in a workplace accident.
Ms Putuwai told A Current Affair, they exchanged a series of emails, where Jones was described as “shy” and needing someone “he could trust.”
The carer was told when she came for the job interview, she would be required to wash Jones to see if she could handle a “showering moment with him.”
But when that moment came, she was told by Jones to wash him in a specific area.
“I started washing him in the shower and then he was like, ‘you’ve got to get right in… like your head has to be right there,” Ms Putuwai recounted.
“He’s like ‘don’t worry, because I can’t feel anything.’ But I should have been more clever than that.”
Ms Putuwai said she became more uncomfortable and left when asked for more massages.
The experience has left her disgusted and embarrassed.
“I don’t want to care for anyone because of what happened with me there,” she said.”