James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

'Runaway millionaire' remanded in custody

'Accidental millionaire' Hui Gao appeared in Rotorua District Court today for a bail application. Photo / Christine Cornege.
'Accidental millionaire' Hui Gao appeared in Rotorua District Court today for a bail application. Photo / Christine Cornege.

The man known as the "runaway millionaire'', Leo Gao, will remain behind bars.

The 31-year-old Rotorua man appeared briefly in the Rotorua District Court this morning to apply for bail.

However, Gao's lawyer Ron Mansfield asked for the application to be adjourned.

Gao faces 17 charges of theft, including one joint charge with Kara Hurring, of the theft of $6,782,000 and 10 charges of money laundering.

Gao and his then partner, Kara Hurring, are alleged to have fled New Zealand in May 2009 after Westpac mistakenly gave him a $10 million overdraft instead of $100,000.

Judge Jocelyn Munro remanded Gao in custody until his next appearance on January 23 where an application for electronically monitored bail will be made.

Gao, 30, was arrested in Hong Kong in September and returned to New Zealand with police just before Christmas where he was remanded in custody.

The couple's disappearance sparked an international manhunt involving Interpol and other overseas agencies.

Hurring, 32, was arrested when she re-entered New Zealand earlier last year and is due to stand trial next month.

- NZ Herald

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