10 Aug 2011

Charges reduced in bank fraud case

9:26 pm on 10 August 2011

A Rotorua woman is to defend reduced charges laid against her over an alleged multimillion-dollar fraud of a bank in 2009.

Kara Hurring, 32, and her then-partner Chinese national Hui Gao, fled New Zealand after a mistake by Westpac put an overdraft facility of $10 million into one of their accounts.

About $7.5 million initially went missing and about half has been recovered, but nearly $4 million remains unaccounted for, as does Ms Hurring's former partner.

The woman returned voluntarily to New Zealand and initially faced 32 charges, including eight of money laundering.

She now faces two new international money laundering charges, two of fraud and 26 counts of theft.

The money laundering relates to events in Macau in Hong Kong after the couple left New Zealand and total about $235,000.

Police say they are still actively seeking Ms Hurring's former partner in relation to the theft of several million.

In the Rotorua District Court on Wednesday, defence lawyer Simon Lance says his client is anxious to get the case over with, as she wants to return overseas to see her young daughter.

Ms Hurring will reappear in court in October.