Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

Woman sentenced for 'ripping off' bank

Photo/File
Photo/File

A Rotorua woman who tried to claim a man she had fallen in love with online transferred more than $200,000 into her bank account has been sentenced for "ripping off" a bank.

Nancy Nunny Riki, 59, was sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on Friday after previously being found guilty on four charges of theft. A court order was also sought for reparation of $37,844 to the Bank of New Zealand.

According to the summary of facts, on June 4, 2014, $78,500 was fraudulently transferred from the BNZ into Riki's Westpac account.

Two days later, a further $128,520 was fraudulently transferred.

Before the $207,020 was transferred, Riki's bank balance had been zero.

The day of the second transfer Riki made two withdrawals from Rotorua Westpac ATM, of $500 and $800.

Later the same day she withdrew $35,000 at the Westpac Rotorua branch.

Three days later Riki withdrew $1500 from another ATM, bringing the total money withdrawn or spent from her Westpac account to $37,844.

BNZ contacted her later that week about the fraudulent deposits and asked her to return the money. The bank also contacted the police.

Riki told the bank she had already spent the money and had none of it left, when in fact she did and continued to spend it, the summary stated.

Riki later admitted to police she had lied to BNZ and did not return the money as requested because she was "too greedy, just wanted it I suppose".

During sentencing, Judge Chris McGuire said Riki originally claimed she had met and fallen in love with a man on Facebook who told her he was putting the money into her account so that she could start a business and he could move to New Zealand to have a relationship with her.

However it was later found the money had come from a Maori development trust in the Hawkes Bay who the bank thought it was in email correspondence with. Instead someone was stealing from the trust to transfer the money into Riki's account.

It's still not clear who hacked the account to put the money into Riki's bank account, the judge said.

Judge McGuire said Riki went on a spending spree at a casino and bought a new car, among other things.

Judge McGuire pointed out Riki has been in court before, for 30 charges of making false statements in 1994 and drug charges in 2009 and 2012.

"Have you gone back to the days of your youth to rip off a bank?" he asked.

Judge McGuire said Riki had "tugged at the heart strings" of two judges before him, using her age.

"You have told us you have learned your lesson . . . You will most certainly go to jail if there is a next time, I don't care how old you are."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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