Online predator invented a fake daughter

By Heather McCracken

Natalia Burgess. Photo / Jason Dorday
Natalia Burgess. Photo / Jason Dorday

The woman who used fake online personas to dupe teenage boys made up a fictitious daughter to get money from one of her victims.

Natalia Burgess, 29, has admitted using fake social media profiles to enter online relationships with boys.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining by deception and one of interfering with a computer system.

The agreed summary of facts was released by Judge Gerard Winter after Burgess' sentencing, scheduled for today at the Manukau District Court, was adjourned to give defence more time to consider prosecution files, filed at short notice.

The summary of facts shows Burgess, from Auckland, used several personas of females aged between 18 and 20 on Facebook and Bebo.

She used the social media profiles to communicate with the teenage male victims, and request information such as access to their social media or bank accounts.

In April 2008 she began a relationship with a 16-year-old victim, who cannot be named, communicating with him by phone and social media. At the time, Burgess was 24.

Burgess gave him money to top up his cellphone and asked for access to his facebook account so she could update his relationship status.

After several months she told the victim she had a daughter, and asked for money to help with with her daughter's care. The victim and his mother gave Burgess a total of $379.

The summary said Burgess did not have a daughter.

She also asked for access to his bank account, and when he refused she said she wouldn't repay any money.

In 2011, she began a relationship with a 13-year-old boy, representing herself as a girl aged 16 to 18. She was 27 at the time.

She never met the boy, but engaged in phone sex and communicated by phone and social media.

After about four weeks she became angry with him for no reason, accessed his facebook account without permission and sent messages to his friends pretending to be him.

Burgess changed his password, denying him access to the account, and returning control after a few days.

She also pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining by deception in relation to going to a home for young pregnant women in 2006, claiming to be pregnant.

Burgess was given permission to live there but did not keep up with her living costs. When asked to provide evidence of her pregnancy she produced a false doctor's letter.

She was asked to leave, having accumulated a $1400 debt.

The summary said Burgess told police she could not remember parts of her life due to being a heavy drug user.

Burgess will be sentenced later this month.


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