When serial con-man David Nepia Carroll needed money, it seemed nothing was off-limits, not even children's piggy banks.
Carroll this week pleaded guilty to 76 dishonesty charges and was sent back to prison, where he had been held since August to await sentencing.
Carroll, 41, grew up in Taupo and, according to his aunt, Helen Tweeddale, was a "very, very spoilt" much-adored child.
"We all loved him."
He was adopted at birth by Tweeddale's brother and sister-in-law David and Scherrill Carroll, who had been unable to start a family.
When David Nepia Carroll was about 10, his parents had a child of their own and she said this may have marked the start of his bad behaviour as he was soon in trouble for "pinching and lying".
He left home at 15 and moved to Australia in the late 1990s where he continued to offend and served a three-year sentence.
He returned and stayed with Tweeddale's daughter and partner in Hamilton. When $100 disappeared from the children's piggy banks, they believed Carroll was responsible. He moved in with his grandmother Maureen Carroll-Palmer in Taupo and began raiding her bank account, which took him back to prison.
He was released from Rangipo Prison on February 16 last year.
Many of the latest 76 charges resulted from doing "runners" from motels. He also pleaded guilty to theft, and using stolen cheques, bank and credit cards.
Carroll is due to be sentenced on April 19.