Com­mu­nity work for phone scam

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.’’

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