Tacita Joyce will have 10 months on home detention contemplating how she will pay back $7028 to 20 victims she "ripped off" in a facebook scam where she sold non-existent concert tickets.
The 20-year-old unemployed woman appeared in the Whangārei District Court for sentencing on Wednesday after pleading guilty to 20 charges of using a computer system and by deception obtained a pecuniary advantage.
The Facebook scam involved fictitious tickets offered over the internet between December 2018 and April 2019 to concerts including Six60, Homegrown, Billie Eilish and Fat Freddy's Drop which were brought by victims across New Zealand.
Joyce used her own Facebook profile during the scam and logged into two other people's accounts and used them as well.
Judge John McDonald said there were never any tickets to be sold and he made an order for Joyce to pay back the 20 victims she "ripped off" as he sentenced her to 10 months home detention.
"You were well set up for the scam you were perpetuating. It shows you are computer literate and know how to work your way around Facebook and Trade Me illegally," Judge McDonald said.
"You went to some effort to ensure the people that were communicating with you genuinely believed you had tickets. This was not a one-off attempt and it was reasonably sophisticated in some regards and not in others. This common way of trading online has been undermined."
Joyce told police after they executed a search warrant at her home in April that she had targeted people outside the Whangārei area.
She used her mobile phone to communicate with people through Facebook. She took screen shots of tickets other people were selling online and offered them up as if she had the tickets. Once people had transferred money into an account she cut all ties.
Defence lawyer Julie Young said Joyce had been actively looking for work but given she had a pending court case it had been difficult.
Young said Joyce had helped police, had pleaded guilty to the charges and the probation report presented to the court was positive and outlined her difficult upbringing.
For the police, Catherine Anderson pointed out Joyce had previous convictions for similar offending and it was while on bail waiting for sentencing that she committed further online crimes. She said between two and two and a half years jail was the appropriate starting point.
"Home detention is appropriate to impose on you. Despite what some people in the community may think, home detention is not an easy sentence, particularly on someone as young as you. A term of imprisonment is not needed to deter, denounce or protect the public," Judge McDonald said.
However, he warned Joyce that if she engaged in this type of offending again the only sentence would be jail.
Tomorrow a second Whangārei woman who pleaded guilty to multiple charges of selling fake concert tickets over the internet will be sentenced.
Lulu Amberlee Pou, 23, of Raumanga, faces 12 charges of obtaining by deception relating to a time period between July 2018 and February 2019.