Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Bank scammer wins appeal to halve $67,000 payback

Former Auckland Grammar School teacher Rafe Callum Fannin swindled $67,408 from banks and finance companies and gambled it all away. Photo / Martin Sykes
Former Auckland Grammar School teacher Rafe Callum Fannin swindled $67,408 from banks and finance companies and gambled it all away. Photo / Martin Sykes

A teacher from a prestigious Auckland school who used multiple identities to scam banks out of $67,000 will now only have to pay half the sum back, after a successful appeal.

Former Auckland Grammar School economics, accounting and business studies teacher Rafe Callum Fannin, 36, posed as a Kiwi missing in the Australian Outback and took two of his colleagues' driving licences to fraudulently set up bank accounts in fake names.

Rafe Callum Fannin
Rafe Callum Fannin

Between September 2014 and June last year, Fannin swindled $67,408 from banks and finance companies and gambled it all away.

In November, Judge David Harvey sentenced him to nine months home detention and ordered him to repay all the money at a rate of $20 a week, despite Fannin being unemployed.

At appeal, the Crown accepted the bill was "manifestly excessive" as it would take him more than 63 years to pay off.

Fannin's lawyer, Richard Keam, argued a figure of just over $5000 was appropriate punishment but Justice Anne Hinton disagreed.

She said the defendant's previous position at such a reputable school meant he was "obviously highly regarded and well qualified".

"I consider he will be able to obtain a well-paying job once his period of home detention concludes, and there would be no reason not to have a job lined up beforehand," Justice Hinton said.

She ordered Fannin to pay $36,400 over the next seven years.

Fannin's fraud spree began when he found out about Jamie Stephen Herdman through Facebook.

The Whakatane 26-year-old was last seen hitch-hiking in a remote area of Australia's Northern Territory in November 2006 and his vehicle was found abandoned by a pub.

Fannin managed to obtain Herdman's birth certificate from the Department of Internal Affairs and used that document, along with fake proof of address, to get a driver's licence in the missing man's name.

From there he successfully applied for credit cards from three banks, which he used for an $8000 spend-up.

Fannin's offending became more brazen when he took driver's licences from two men he taught with at Auckland Grammar and extended his web of fraud.

The father of three is an undischarged bankrupt and is serving his home detention sentence in Whangarei.

- NZ Herald

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