Fraudster stole from Bingo friend

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013

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An 87-year-old woman befriended at Bingo was ripped off when her conwoman "friend" helped herself to her eftpos card.

The thief was only caught out when her victim died and her family discovered the woman had even withdrawn money just after her victim's death.

In the New Plymouth District Court last week a 64-year-old sickness beneficiary, who has interim name suppression, admitted eight charges of using a document - the 87-year-old's TSB Bank card.

In total she stole $2420.

Some money was taken from eftpos machines and others through cash advances in city bars.

On one day out in the city in November she withdrew $1200.

On December 12, the defendant went to her elderly victim's home and found her lying on her lounge floor.

The defendant rang an ambulance and the victim's son, handing over her toiletries and the victim's purse.

When the son asked where his mother's cashflow card was, the defendant said she did not have it nor did she know where it was.

Shortly after the elderly woman was taken to hospital she withdrew two amounts of $100.

The elderly woman died several hours later.

The cashflow card was cancelled by the victim's family when they could find neither her card nor any bank statements.

The family went to police when a bank statement arrived in the mail.

In her interview with police, the defendant said she withdrew some of the money for the victim and admitted she had on occasions taken money without her victim's consent.

When she later told her victim what she had done, the defendant told police that her elderly victim had jokingly called her a "ratbag".

The defendant told police she spent the money on overdue bills and garments.

At the request of her lawyer, Turitea Bolstad, the defendant was given interim name suppression until her sentencing date on April 30.

Community Magistrate Jack Best ordered a pre-sentence report and released the woman on bail.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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