A Hawera woman has admitted ripping off local businesses by paying them with fraudulent cheques.
Kiri Campbell, 32, entered a guilty plea in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday in response to four counts of using a document to gain a pecuniary advantage in what her lawyer Paul Keegan said was "a protest against the banking system".
However, no mention was made in court of a $15 million cheque Campbell allegedly banked - the cheque has been at the centre of much online debate.
Campbell's appearance in Hawera on Tuesday attracted about 60 supporters, forcing court staff to temporarily shut the courthouse.
However, the extent of her cause was made clear when it was revealed the total she paid in fraudulent cheques came to almost $65,000, all of which has been recovered, except $481 to Pak 'n Save.
The businesses to which Campbell presented fraudulent cheques were Egmont Autos in Hawera, Dimmocks 100% in Stratford, RJ Eagars in Stratford and Colton's Motor Vehicle Company LMVD and Pak 'n Save in Hawera.
Defence counsel Paul Keegan said Campbell's acts were a protest against the banking system and she regretted the ill effects on individuals and businesses.
"The flavour is of protest and civil disobedience because of the beliefs she has."
Judge Allan Roberts told Campbell he expected her to repay the sum to Pak 'n Save before her sentencing.
Campbell will return for sentencing on October 3.
- Taranaki Daily News
Does more need to be done to protect NZ passports?