Police hunting notorious conman
AN arrest warrant has been issued for a notorious trickster who poses as a commercial pilot to rip off his victims.
Dubbed the "Catch Me If You Can" conman, Barry John Faulkner, 69, from Paddington in Brisbane's inner west and Sydney's Surry Hills, was due in the District Court in Brisbane today for a hearing for allegedly breaching a suspended sentence imposed by the District Court in Southport in 2005.
He allegedly breached the sentence when he was convicted of scamming $3500 in cash from Bernard Baggetto on January 11, 2008.
In court today, Faulkner's lawyer Brendan Ryan told Judge Jennifer Rosengren that Faulkner was sick "in bed" in his flat in Surry Hills in Sydney, so could not come to court.
Mr Ryan tendered a report from Surry Hills GP Rad Naidu, but Judge Rosengren said the report by Dr Naidu "doesn't tell us much" about Faulkner's condition.
Mr Ryan said Faulkner had suffered a stroke in April when he was released from Arthur Gorrie prison, and was hospitalised in Royal Brisbane Hospital. He also had a second stroke shortly afterwards and was admitted to a hospital on the Gold Coast, Mr Ryan said.
Judge Rosengren issued an arrest warrant citing "the lack of sufficient medical evidence as to his current circumstances" and Faulkner's "multitude" of lengthy criminal histories scattered across almost every state and territory.
Crown Prosecutor Jacqueline Ball tendered Faulkner's criminal histories in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, NT, WA and an Australian Federal Police history and said she was "sceptical" of Faulkner's story and "no further explanation of reasons why he is unfit to travel".
Faulkner was last in court on April 13 where he was convicted of multiple counts of fraud, ordered to repay his victims $6430 and sentenced to six months prison, which he had already served.
Mr Ryan said Faulkner had spent 44 years in jail over his lifetime.
Court records show he has more than 80 convictions, mostly for fraud, and has adopted more than 50 aliases.
He has duped people around the nation by posing as a doctor, an Army officer, a Fedex courier, an American millionaire, an Olympic official, a CIA agent and the guitarist in the 1960's band The Monkees.
He was dubbed the Catch Me If You Can conman because his scams mirrored those of the charming American criminal who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio, in the 2002 film.
Many of his scams involving offering to sell people cut-price goods offered at special sales.
In April he pleaded guilty to duping Burleigh B&B owner Vera Marie Panitsch on November 13, 2005, and was ordered to pay her $260 in restitution by Chief Magistrate, Ray Rinaudo.
He was also convicted of "obtaining goods or credit by false pretense" after he got $200 from Richard Peter Scholten on July 30, 1996 at Airlie Beach.
Faulkner also pretended he was a pilot when he tried to pay his $120 bill at the Lukanda Motor Inn in Broadbeach by passing a valueless cheque on 15 June 1996.
And he admitted ripping off Gregory Roy White at Mermaid Beach over the Christmas period in 2012.
Faulkner was jailed in NSW in 2015 for dressed as an Emirates pilot while promising people flight upgrades.
He has previously posed as a pilot and taken cash for cheap duty-free products, and has masqueraded as an American pilot to convince a Caboolture motel owner that he was flying in an air show, and his accommodation and food bill would be paid by the US Air Force.
In the late '60s, when Faulkner was only 19, he pretended to be a doctor at Royal Brisbane Hospital and examined two pregnant women.