News24

'Runaway millionaire' found guilty

2012-05-18 10:37

Wellington - A New Zealand woman who fled the country with her partner after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account was found guilty of money laundering and theft on Friday.

Kara Hurring left for China with partner Hui Gao when Westpac bank accidentally put  NZ$10m ($7.6m) into his account in April 2009 after he requested a NZ$100 000 overdraft.

The error was discovered within days but by then NZ$6.78m had already been transferred into other accounts and the pair, dubbed "the runaway millionaires", had left the country.

Hurring, who was arrested after returning to New Zealand in February last year, had pleaded not guilty in Rotorua District Court to 25 counts of stealing and two counts of laundering totalling $193 000 in Macau.

The 33-year-old said Gao had told her his financial windfall was the result of a lottery win and she had no idea the money was obtained illegally until she saw a report about the case on Chinese television.
She was convicted on all charges after a four-day trial and will be sentenced on August 24.

Gao, who was arrested in Hong Kong last September and subsequently deported to New Zealand, will face a separate trial at a date yet to be set.

Comments
  • Sulaiman Emandien - 2012-05-18 11:37

    i don't think that is right. if the bank made the mistake. the bank should double check there figures.

      Grant - 2012-05-18 12:07

      When you take nearly R50M of money that you KNOW does not belong to you, it is theft! Just because you have access to it does not make it yours (unless of course you are a government official or connected in some way to Zuma)

      mfudzi.wamambo - 2012-05-18 12:08

      @Sulaiman Emandien, the bank should also shoulder the blame instead of preferring charges. If charges have to be preferred, they should most likely be civil not criminal.

      NrGx - 2012-05-18 12:18

      Counter Argument: Possession is 9 10ths of the law. Dont suppose the "finders keepers" argument will work!

      Preshen - 2012-05-18 16:12

      It was a typo

  • grant.hide - 2012-05-18 12:10

    Personally i think all charges against them should be dropped. My account accepts donations. If i spend it, woohoo, shame to you Big Bank, who made the error. If they somehow managed to fool the internal process of the bank, then sure, fraud is fraud. Punish em.

      Olebogeng - 2012-05-18 12:25

      Let's them make that mistake in my account, in three days\r\n they'll be nothing left.

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-05-18 12:40

    Wish the bank would give me some free money like that. I could really do with it right now

  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-05-18 12:41

    Anybody miss the part where they skipped country because obviously, they knew they were breaking the law? Nothing but greed. It's equivalent to saying, someone parked a car on my land by mistake, it's mine now. No, you'd be arrested for theft.

  • Anakin - 2012-05-18 12:54

    Pity they couldn't disappear forever, who has sympathy with a big banks?

  • Zandile - 2012-05-18 16:25

    the bank should learn from their mistake. It is the banks responsibilty to keep the money safe.Obviously when you give things away, lot of people see it as a present, especially if it's money.

  • Sulaiman Emandien - 2012-05-18 16:52

    @Grantcallaway: u say that if u take something that do not belong 2 u is theft. but the money was in there bank account. so that means that it belongs 2 them. coz possession in 9 10th of the LAW

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