Glen Innes woman uses internet banking to steal from deaf, mute father

A young woman confessed to using internet banking to steal over $3000 from her deaf and mute father in the Glen Innes Local Court this week.
A young woman confessed to using internet banking to steal over $3000 from her deaf and mute father in the Glen Innes Local Court this week.

A young woman confessed to using internet banking to steal over $3000 from her deaf and mute father in the Glen Innes Local Court this week.

Court documents show Elizabeth Cooper tried to conceal the 94 money transfers into an account controlled by her as insurance payments. Over a 168 day period the 20 year old took money from her father's bank account on 53 separate occasions ultimately taking $3201.48 from the man.

It's not the first time he's been the victim of fraud. In 2018 the Dundee man was forced to close an old bank account after he was a victim of unrelated previous fraudulent transactions.

But he needs help with day-to-day activities. When on January 11 he traveled to Glen Innes National Australia Bank branch to open a new account, his daughter accompanied him.

She obtained the passwords to his mobile and internet banking account.

Within a week, on January 16, she made the first unauthorised payment, of $30.19.

She did it again on Sunday January 27; $21.43.

By the time of the last unauthorised transfer, three payments of $30.19 on July 3, she had taken $3201.48.

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The thefts only ended when he discovered them on July 5. After noticing the transactions appearing on a bank statement, he went to the Glen Innes NAB branch to find out what was happening.

He then informed the police.

Court documents show his daughter asked him not to talk to law enforcement. In a text message she said "please not go police. If you do I will go to jail".

In one of a series of texts she asked his father's partner how much she had taken.

"I will pay back but please no police anything," she said.

But in Glen Innes Local Court on Wednesday, the 20 year old confessed to the 53 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Appearing wearing a black top, black pants and sandals, she said through a lawyer that she wants to make restitution but does not know her father's new bank account to transfer money back.

Her father doesn't want anything to do with her, the lawyer said.

Magistrate Michael Holmes said she would need to pay the court office. He adjourned the hearing for April 15 and ordered a sentencing assessment report to decide how to punish the Glen Innes woman.

The Magistrate condemned her actions as a breach of trust.

The maximum penalty for fraud is ten years' jail.