A man who received more than $6000 stolen from an overseas visitor to Rotorua has been warned he could be jailed for his part in "ripping off tourists".

Andrew Dillion Paul, 39, from Rotorua, appeared in the Rotorua District Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving property.

A police summary of facts, released to the Rotorua Daily Post, said a French tourist in New Zealand on a working holiday went to a bank on June 14 to transfer a large amount of money.

He cashed in NZ$7000 and received 4060 euros in exchange, as he planned to return to France within a week.


The tourist put the money in a plastic envelop in his backpack where he was staying, at a local backpacker lodge.

Some time between June 14 and 18, the money was stolen from his backpack.

On Monday, June 18 at 3.50pm, Paul was given 3500 euros by an associate who told him he had stolen it, the summary said.

Paul went into a Kiwibank and tried to exchane the money into New Zealand currency, equating to NZ$6050, but was told he needed identification.

Paul said he didn't have any and left with the money. He told police he gave the money back to his associate.

Paul also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a community work order.

Judge Maree MacKenzie asked for several reports to be prepared on Paul, including one to determine whether he was eligible for home detention.

"I make no promises though, given the particularly mean-spirited nature where you were ripping off tourists of Rotorua, a city that relies on international tourists."


Paul's associate has pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing the money and will be sentenced in October.

Judge MacKenzie remanded Paul on bail to reappear for sentencing on November 22.