Fourth offender admits scamming elderly victims

August 12, 2016 | By More

Court House-general2A fourth person has admitted scamming very elderly Christchurch victims – women aged 88, 94, 95, and 97.

Leanna Korau, also known as Wylie, aged 27, unemployed, admitted four charges of causing loss by deception before Judge Raoul Neave in the Christchurch District Court today.

She was admitting her role in a crime ring that has scammed elderly victims out of tens of thousands of dollars with a well practiced ruse.

Two offenders have already been jailed, and Korau was today remanded in custody for sentencing on October 7, with a pre-sentence report that will also consider her suitability for a home detention term.

Another offender, 26-year-old Tayla-Dane Korau, pleaded guilty a few days ago and will be sentenced at the same time.

The scam involved a person phoning the victims, telling them they were from their bank or power company, and saying there was a problem with their bank card. They threatened that services would be cut off unless the issue was dealt with.

Another “staff member” would then arrive, obtain the apparently faulty bank card and PIN number, and replace it with a Pressie card. With the bank card and PIN number then in the hands of members of the crime ring, the victim’s bank account would then be raided with withdrawals and purchases totalling thousands of dollars.

In the four cases involving Korau, the victims lost a total of $34,526.

When interviewed by the police, Korau said she received only about $3000 from the scam while her associates received about $30,000.

Two other people facing charges relating to the scam are pleading not guilty and their cases are still to be heard.

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