Trade Me fraudster swindles nearly $3000

18:58, Jun 25 2012

A Feilding man has pleaded guilty to crimes relating to a six month fraud spree on the online auction site Trade Me.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Chris Whitmore told the Feilding District Court today how 23-year-old Chants Taumanaka Williams and his partner swindled nearly $3000 from unsuspecting TradeMe users.

The crimes began in April last year, when a Trade Me user was contacted about purchasing an iPhone 4 from the website.

They were told to deposit $750 into a bank account, which was in Williams' name. Once the money went in, all contact ceased and no iPhone was sent to the bidder.

This happened on four occasions, and resulted in a total of $2905 being transfered into Williams' bank account.

On one occasion, a bidder deposited $370 into Williams' account for a PlayStation but was told the payment did not accept.

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The bidder put in another $370, but never received the gaming console or a refund.

When he was eventually tracked down by police, Williams admitted the bank account was his.

He said his partner organised the people to deposit the money, and he just had the account in his name.

Judge Gerard Lynch said a pre-sentence report would be needed, as the offending was too serious to consider a sentence of community work.

Williams was remanded on bail until August 6 for sentencing on the condition he did not access any internet auction websites.

Manawatu Standard