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Aussie’s $20k bill after losing wallet

Written by on May 11, 2024

A pensioner from Victoria who is facing over $20,000 in traffic offenses says a group of people have wrongly accused him of their driving violations.

Kelvin Bellette, a disability pensioner and part-time pizza delivery driver from rural western Victorian town of Colac, lost his wallet on a Mornington Peninsula bus in 2021.

Mr Bellette reported his lost wallet to police promptly but when his wallet was eventually found and returned to him, he noticed his driver’s license was missing.

Since 2021 he has allegedly received 60 traffic offenses from the Mornington Peninsula area and he claims only four of them are legitimately his.

They include speeding, driving without a seatbelt and driving an unregistered car through a toll zone.

He moved earlier this year to rural Colac but has continued to receive traffic offenses for the Mornington Peninsula area, which is over 200 kilometres away from his new home.

In early 2023 Mr Bellette hired Colac lawyer Tony Pyrtz who requested a photo related to the offense which he said clearly showed someone other than Mr Bellette behind the wheel.

“He’s been in a spiral of dealing with fines that aren’t his,” Mr Pyrtz said.

“Nothing’s ever been done about it until now, so they’ve gotten away with it,” he said.

Fines Victoria has now given Mr Bellette and his lawyer a list of the individuals who have all nominated the pensioner as the driver during these offenses.

“Now we’ve investigated a bit more, we’ve found out most of them aren’t his at all and it would appear he has been falsely nominated as the driver,” Mr Prytz said.

Mr Pyrtz told the ABC it appeared his clients name has been “shopped around” the Mornington Peninsula district.

A trades business located in the area is among those accused of nominating Mr Bellette of eight offenses.

A further seven people attributed different offenses with various vehicles to the unwittingly part-time delivery driver.

“Kelvin has never owned or been in any of these vehicles, and he doesn’t know any of the people who nominated him as the responsible driver,” Mr Pyrtz said.

To make matters worse, Mr Bellette had started a payment plan to deal with the hefty fines.

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Mr Bellette and his lawyer are now working with the Department of Justice to resolve the issue.

Under Victorian law, it is an offence to knowingly provide false or misleading information in a nomination statement.

Doing so could incur a fine in excess of $9,000 and potential loss of licence for an individual, or a fine in excess of $18,000 for an organisation.

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