A teacher from a top Auckland school who used the identity of a kiwi missing in the Australian outback to scam banks out of more than $67,000 will have to pay all the money back.
Auckland Grammar School economics, accounting and business studies teacher Rafe Callum Fannin, 36, also took two of his colleagues' driving licences to fraudulently set up bank accounts in fake names.
Between September 2014 and June this year, Fannin swindled $67,408 from banks and finance companies and gambled it all away.
His lawyer Luke Wilson suggested a reparation figure of more than $6000 would be appropriate considering he was jobless but Judge David Harvey ordered the entire amount be repaid.
"This was by no means accidental. It was calculated, well thought out and contained a significant amount of premeditation," he said.
The judge also sentenced Fannin to nine months home detention.
The teacher, who recently resigned but was suspended on paid leave while the matter went through court, previously admitted five charges of using a document for a pecuniary advantage and eight of obtaining by deception.
Fannin's fraud spree began when he found out about Jamie Stephen Herdman through Facebook.
The Whakatane 26-year-old went was last seen hitchhiking in a remote area of Australia's Northern Territory in November 2006 and his vehicle was found abandoned by a pub.
Fannin managed to obtain Herdman's birth certificate from the Department of Internal Affairs and used that document, along with fake proof of address, to get a driver's licence in the missing man's name.
From there he successfully applied for credit cards from three banks, which he used for an $8000 spend up.
Fannin's offending became more sophisticated when he involved two men he taught with at Auckland Grammar - a top all-boys school in Epsom.
Unknown to the teachers, the defendant took the drivers' licences from their wallets and repeated his pattern of offending, opening bank accounts in their names.
Again he maxed out credit cards, but Fannin also realised he had access to greater amounts by using the fraudulent accounts to get finance.
When he was caught, at the end of June, he had racked up $67,408 in debt in other people's names.
Fannin told police he had committed the crimes "to feed an addiction to online gambling".
He said he intended to pay back the stolen money from his winnings and viewed the theft as "borrowing".
"But it wasn't anything like that really," Judge Harvey said.
"A person like you would be well aware the house always wins... it would be extremely unlikely if not impossible that you'd win enough gambling to pay the debts you had."
The business studies teacher was declared bankrupt by the Official Assignee in February 2013.
He will serve his home detention sentence in Whangarei
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