Kara Hurring guilty in accidental millionaire case

KARA HURRING: Guilty on all 30 counts.
KARA HURRING: Guilty on all 30 counts.

Kara Hurring says she is looking forward to seeing her children again after being found guilty of all 30 charges against her in the accidental millionaire case.

At the Rotorua District Court, Hurring had pleaded not guilty to 30 charges of theft, dishonestly using a bank card and money laundering after $10m was mistakenly deposited by Westpac into her former partner, Leo Gao's, business account overdraft facility in April 2009.

She spent 22 months on the run before being arrested when she returned to Auckland to apply for a passport for her baby son in February 2011.

Gao was arrested in September 2011 when he attempted to cross the border between China and Hong Kong. He is on electronic bail in Auckland, waiting for trial.

During a brief appearance outside court today, Hurring said she was "relieved" with the verdict and was looking forward to seeing her children again.

Her lawyer Simon Lance said the verdict was the "end of the saga".

The jury yesterday watched a 45 minute taped interview between Hurring and Rotorua Detective Scott Thompson recorded when Hurring arrived back in New Zealand in February 2011.

In the interview Hurring described how Gao began acting "silly" and "crazy" when he discovered his Westpac Bank business overdraft account had been loaded "with lots of zeros", Hurring said.

The pair were living in Rotorua together, having been in an "off and on" relationship while living in Auckland.

Gao had bought a service station in Rotorua and Hurring was helping out working part-time.

After the banking mistake Hurring joined Gao in China.

She learned of the banking error while watching the news in China, she said.

Hurring started work in Hong Kong first as an English teacher and later as a scriptwriter.

Several times she thought of returning to NZ to clear her name, she said.

"I didn't think I had done anything wrong."

She made contact with Rotorua police in 2010 to find out what she should do. At that stage she was pregnant and had planned to come back home, she said.

Her relationship with Gao, the father of her child, had become "very complicated".


The Marlborough Express