Scam­mer ad­mits fraud on vic­tims


Kwinana Courier - - News -

AN eight-year-old girl and an 80-year-old man were just two vic­tims of a ‘puppy for sale’ scam run on Gumtree by a Rock­ing­ham woman.

The woman made close to $7500 from the scam where she pre­tended to have pup­pies for sale but never did.

Estelle Mak­wana ap­peared in Rock­ing­ham Mag­is­trates Court for sen­tenc­ing on 10 charges of gain­ing ben­e­fit by fraud af­ter plead­ing guilty at an ear­lier date.

The pros­e­cu­tor said Mak­wana re­sponded to the vic­tims’ own ad­ver­tise­ments want­ing cer­tain breeds of puppy. She re­sponded to the ads, stat­ing she had the par­tic­u­lar puppy and gave bank de­tails ask­ing for a de­posit to be paid in full.

On Septem­ber 8, 2017, one vic­tim placed an ad want­ing a pug puppy. Mak­wana re­sponded stat­ing she had a pug puppy for sale and re­quested a $500 de­posit be paid in full first and also used the fake name of Sarah Hawkins. Af­ter it was paid, Mak­wana ceased all con­tact with the vic­tim.

She re­sponded to more ads from sep­a­rate vic­tims want­ing dif­fer­ent breeds; twice for a king charles cava­lier puppy, and a labrador puppy and rot­tweiler puppy. She never owned any of the an­i­mals and in one in­stance took money from a mother who wanted a puppy for her daugh­ter.

In two cases she later told the vic­tim the puppy had died and that they had to pay the vet and cre­ma­tion fees.

In one of those cases she re­quested a $660 de­posit from an 80-year-old man whom she later con­tacted, telling him the pup had died and asked for money for vet and cre­ma­tion costs.

The duty lawyer said she ac­cepted the facts in full and was ex­tremely re­morse­ful. She said the of­fend­ing was be­cause of fi­nan­cial stress af­ter a mar­riage break­down.

She said Mak­wana had a prior record for steal­ing of­fences and had re­turned the money to one vic­tim.

Mag­is­trate Vivien Ed­wards said there was more than a fi­nan­cial im­pact to the vic­tims.

“Not only have the vic­tims lost sig­nif­i­cant sums of money to you but they would have suf­fered some hurt be­cause of your ac­tions,” she said.

She placed Mak­wana on a 12-month com­mu­nity-based or­der with su­per­vi­sion and pro­grams and or­dered resti­tu­tion to all of the vic­tims.

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