A New Plymouth life coach found guilty of defrauding a client out of $200,000 has paid the money back.
But Dianne Lesley Wood, 53, is yet to find out whether fronting up with the money will get her out of a jail sentence.
Wood was to be sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court this week but Judge Louis Bidois, of Tauranga, further remanded the case until next month.
In August, before Judge Allan Roberts, a jury found Wood guilty of fraudulently obtaining money from her client.
But, in court on Tuesday, Judge Bidois acknowledged that the $200,000 had been repaid.
However, the judge declined to sentence Wood because of Judge Roberts' comments to Wood that she would likely be jailed if she did not pay back the money to her victim.
The Crown asked for a starting point for a jail sentence of 12 to 18 months, while the defence called for community work as a result of Judge Roberts' earlier comments. Judge Bidois further remanded Wood to be sentenced by Judge Roberts on November 28.
Documents before the court show that Wood and her victim first met in 2007.
As result of personal circumstances and loss of significant personal relationships, the victim was in a vulnerable state when she initially sought Wood's services, the documents state.
Wood offered the victim life-coaching services, including relationship, health, financial and other advice and support.
"Over the years the complainant sought support, advice and direction from the defendant in the areas of her life and became increasingly reliant on Wood."
Wood knew her victim had access to significant cash and personal savings.
In 2010 Wood initially asked her victim for $510,000 to renovate her house and buy out her ex-husband's financial interest in the property.
The victim's trust declined release of the money.
On December 14, 2010, Wood texted and phoned the victim saying if she did not receive a personal loan, ownership of her home was in jeopardy because of a court order.
No such court order existed.
The victim felt compelled to make the personal loan of $200,000 to Wood after being led to believe Wood would lose her home as a result of the court order.
In January the victim paid over an unsecured loan of $200,000 to Wood.
The two fell out and 18 months passed without any repayment.
The victim has name suppression.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should the NPDC councillors get iPads?Related story: Tech-wary councillors hedge their bets