A princely sum

After most of the money he embezzled was recovered, Australia’s biggest fraudster is appealing his sentence.

One of the biggest fraudsters in Australian history is appealing his 14-year jail sentence because he says most of the A$16 million (about $16 million) he stole has been recovered.

Hohepa Morehu-Barlow embezzled the money from the state of Queensland where he worked as a finance manager in the health department until his arrest in December 2011.

To cover his tracks, the government employee claimed he was a Tahitian prince, so as not to raise eyebrows about extravagant purchases such as his multimillion-dollar waterfront home and three Mercedes-Benz cars.

Morehu-Barlow’s lawyer claims that the outstanding A$5 million the authorities failed to recover is such a small percentage of the health department’s budget that the impact on the victim — in this case, the state — is negligible and does not warrant the stiff sentence.