Runaway millionaire jailed for more than four years
Updated at 4:31 am on 25 August 2012
Runaway millionaire Hui Gao has been sent to jail for four years and seven months for the defrauding of Westpac bank in 2009.
Gao's former girlfriend Kara Hurring has been sentenced to nine months' detention and ordered to pay just under $12,000 in reparations.
The pair fled to Hong Kong after the bank mistakenly loaded a $10 million overdraft into Gao's bank account in April 2009.
Gao was arrested in Hong Kong and extradited late last year; Hurring voluntarily returned to New Zealand in February 2011.
In June Gao, 31, admitted seven charges of theft totalling more than $6 million. A month earlier, a jury had found Hurring, 33, guilty of 30 charges of theft and money laundering.
In Rotorua District Court on Friday, Gao's lawyer said his client had succumbed to temptation and was remorseful, but was not in a position to pay reparation.
Gao's lawyer Ron Mansfield said his client's sentence was too high and he is contemplating an appeal.
He said Gao regrets succumbing to the temptation of taking the money after it was put into his account.
Mr Mansfield says Gao is not in a position to pay reparation to Westpac.
Hurring's lawyer told the court her culpability was limited to that of a secondary player.
The Crown questioned the sincerity of Gao's remorse, saying it was undermined by the fact that $8 million remains unaccounted for.
Court documents show Westpac is seeking reparation of nearly $4 million.
Outside the court, Hurring wouldn't account for the missing money.
She says she is relieved the trial is over and she can now move on with her life.
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