Kiwi to stand trial over Queensland fraud

Joel Morehu-Barlow is accused of stealing more than NZ $19 million from Queensland Health.
Photo / Supplied
Joel Morehu-Barlow is accused of stealing more than NZ $19 million from Queensland Health. Photo / Supplied

Alleged New Zealand fraudster Joel Morehu-Barlow will stand for allegedly defrauding more than A$16 million (NZD$20.6m) from Queensland Health.

Morehu-Barlow, 36, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning where the Crown dropped seven charges and substituted them with a further seven, largely changing the wording of accusations, The Brisbane Times reported.

A further forgery charge was also laid.

Speaking outside court, Morehu-Barlow's lawyer Adam Magill said his client had intended to plead today but at this point he contested the forgery charge.

However, Morehu-Barlow consented to being committed to trial.

The trial will be held at the Brisbane District Court on a date yet to be fixed.

Morehu-Barlow had worked for Queensland Health for five years when checks revealed that millions of dollars appeared to have gone missing.

Authorities frozen Morehu-Barlow's assets and have seized millions of dollars worth of property, some from family and friends, in a bid to recover some of the funds he allegedly siphoned off.

Morehu-Barlow grew up in Thames, and lived the high life in Australia, convincing people he was a rich, Tahitian prince.

His life was filled with Louis Vuitton suits, Lamborghini cars and a rented multimillion-dollar apartment. He was handsome, popular and his photos regularly made social pages in the local newspapers.

- APNZ

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