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Current as of 04/03/15 07:40PM NZST

'Millionaire' partner: 'I didn't know'

By Abigail Hartevelt of The Daily Post

Kara Hurring in the Rotorua District Court. Photo / Alan Gibson
Kara Hurring in the Rotorua District Court. Photo / Alan Gibson

Kara Hurring told police she didn't know about Westpac mistakenly putting $10 million into her partner's bank account until she was in China, a jury heard today.

During an interview with police after the former Rotorua woman returned to New Zealand, she told them her partner Hui "Leo'' Gao said he had won Lotto, the Rotorua District Court was told.

The Crown alleges that after Westpac mistakenly put $10 million into Gao's bank account, he left the country, and four days later Hurring and her daughter left New Zealand and went to Hong Kong.

Hurring, 33, is on trial and faces 25 theft charges relating to her alleged use of Gao's bank card to make purchases and withdraw money from ATMs in New Zealand.

Three counts involving attempts to use a document relate to Hurring allegedly trying to make purchases and withdraw money, also in New Zealand. Hurring has pleaded not guilty to all 30 charges.

The two money-laundering counts relate to Hurring allegedly setting up a "player'' account at a casino in Macau, where two deposits were made totalling more than $340,000, money that could be converted into chips for gambling or to pay for services including accommodation and food.

Hurring was interviewed by police and the interview was played to the jury today.

Hurring said she did not have access to any of Gao's accounts.

She said she was at her home in Rotorua one night when Gao started "yahooing'' .

"I was trying to talk to him. . . He was acting absolutely crazy.''

Hurring said when she looked at Gao's laptop she saw "lots of zeroes''.

"It didn't seem real. . . I kept asking what has happened. He was like on another planet.''

The next day they went to the service station and Gao was telling people he had won Lotto, Hurring said.

They went to Auckland and Gao was being secretive. Gao said he was going to China and Hurring begged to go with him.

Gao left the country and Hurring did too with her daughter a few days later.

She told police she met up with Gao in Macau and thought she was having a holiday.

Hurring said the first she knew about the mistake Westpac had made was when she saw television coverage about it.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdicts tomorrow.


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