Community work for phone scam
A man who tried to raise money by selling non-existent iPhones on Trade Me was sentenced to 80 hours’ community work at Porirua District Court last Tuesday.
Matthew Brian Owen, 27, of Wainuiomata, was also ordered to repay the $150 he was paid in March by two people wanting to buy discount iPhone 5s.
Owen had faced a maximum sentence of three months in prison.
His lawyer, Megan Boyd, said he had heard the scam was an easy way of raising funds. Owen was on a benefit and had child support payments to make, Ms Boyd told Judge Jan Kelly.
Owen’s sentence was a warning to potential scammers that Trade Me must not be abused, Judge Kelly said.
‘‘I regard this as serious offending. The integrity of Trade Me is important. People rely on the honesty of vendors.’’