A serial scammer who deceived men she met on dating websites out of $300,000 is back behind bars just nine months after her release after an infatuated pensioner gave her $60,000.
Corrections revealed that Rebecca Jean Roche, 47, was recalled to prison yesterday on the grounds she posed "an undue risk to the safety of the community".
The three daughters of a 75-year-old man had complained to Corrections, claiming Roche had scammed their father.
In 2017 Roche was convicted and jailed for three years and four months for obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception of $296,000. The money was gained from three retirees she had met on a dating website.
One of the victims lost $202,000, including his life savings and retirement fund.
In February, Roche met the 75-year-old man on a dating site, his daughters told the Herald on Sunday.
The women became concerned for their father when he asked his middle daughter for $1000 dollars on August 16 to help a friend who was "in danger".
"Dad was trying to get a bridging loan to help her. I said 'Who is this woman? How did you get involved with her?' The three of us were suspicious and started digging," one of his daughters claims.
They only discovered how heavily involved their father was with Roche last month. They claim she lied to them about where she worked and lived and didn't say she was heavily in debt.
"Dad was an easy target, he is a gentleman, caring, quite naive and generous with his time and as it turns out his money," one of the sisters said.
"It wasn't love, but a teenage infatuation, and we believed their relationship developed into a sexual one when the money transactions began in mid-April."
The pensioner knew the woman as Rachel Roche. After the sisters trawled through their father's bank statements they noticed thousands of dollars had been transferred into an account belonging to R Roche.
The BNZ welfare team sent the family a court judgment that revealed Roche's real name as Rebecca. The bank confirmed to them she was previously convicted for scamming three elderly men from Christchurch.
"That's when it all clicked," said his youngest daughter - a former fraud investigator.
"There were cash advances of up to $5000 dollars in July. Some days it was like two or three payments of $100, $300 or $600."
The pressure she said was put on her dad to pay had the "hallmarks of a romance scam".
However, the man was smitten and believed her fraudulent days were "in the past" and she had changed. They claim Roche's demands escalated and believe that her reasons for needing the money were far-fetched and "blatant lies".
"She told Dad she was effectively forced to sleep with someone to repay a debt and she feared for her life," one of the women claimed.
"Also that her brother had died and she had been kidnapped and assaulted. We knew this wasn't true."
The man's oldest daughter, a health professional, said Roche was pleasant when she agreed to meet the sisters on August 19, but her tone changed when they canceled.
"By that stage, we had gathered all the BNZ material and other evidence so we knew exactly who she was. I rang her to say 'Your game's up. We know your name's not Rachel, the meeting is off'."
Roche responded to the sisters by text saying she will keep caring about their father "until he asks me not to".
"I won't scurry away from him. Hard as it is to believe someone like me as u put it. Happens to enjoy and care about him. That's not going to change."
Roche's probation report revealed she had a "tragic past" and a very extensive history of offending.
On Friday, Roche initially agreed by text to talk to the Herald on Sunday. But she hung up when contacted.
The Herald on Sunday has seen an email to Corrections on August 22 in which the eldest daughter wrote of her father's plight and asked "what can be done to prevent further victimisation of my father?"
In its response, Corrections said it was unable to provide any personal information because of privacy reasons and advised her to go to police. But after enquiries from the Herald on Sunday, Roche was recalled yesterday.
The father has made a complaint to the police and will be interviewed next week.
Roche had been released from prison in December with special conditions including having to disclose to a probation officer details of any intimate relationship she commences, resumes or terminates.
She also needed to be monitored when she uses any electronic device to access the internet and also dealing with money or financial accounts or transactions of any person or entity.
"She shouldn't have any access to a computer – it is such an oversight by the probation service to allow her to continue offending," one of the daughters said.
The daughters said they were "delighted" at the recall.
Corrections said yesterday: "We applied to the New Zealand Parole Board for this person to be recalled to prison on the grounds that she poses an undue risk to the safety of the community." "The person is now in custody, and the Board will determine whether a final recall is granted, which would mean she remains in prison."
The sisters said Roche has only paid back $150 to the man. They doubt he will recoup the rest of his life savings.
"Dad is deeply ashamed and embarrassed," one of the women said.
"He must've had an inkling at some stage but got in too deep."