A woman allegedly withdrew two-thirds of an 82-year-old pensioner’s savings after befriending her, a court heard yesterday.
Victim Virginia Smith was testifying against Anastasia Moree, a recidivist with an extensive history of fraud convictions.
Prosecutors alleged that Moree, 39, fraudulently withdrew $22,600 from Smith’s savings account and stole her driver’s license and $124.
She has pleaded not guilty at her trial before Magistrate Samuel McKinney.
Smith, a retired teacher, said she was at the Mall at Marathon in December 2017 to pay her utility bills when a woman, whom she identified in court as Moree, called her over to her vehicle.
Smith said Moree told her that she hadn’t seen her in a while.
Smith said Moree asked if she had change for $100 because she wanted to give her $50. Smith said Moree invited her in the vehicle and gave her the money.
Smith said she told Moree that she “wanted to get to know her better” and offered her phone number.
Moree suggested that Smith reach under the passenger’s seat for an address book. Smith said she didn’t locate the book, but found an envelope on which she wrote her number.
After leaving the vehicle, Smith said she noticed that her pouch that contained $124 and her identification was missing. Smith said that Moree called her the following day and promised to return her property, but she never did.
Smith said when she went to Commonwealth Bank in March 2018, she noticed that money had been withdrawn from her account.
Prosecutor Sergeant Tamika Gibson asked, “Do you know what your balance was prior to March?”
Smith said, “It was over $30-something thousand dollars.” Gibson asked, “In March what was the balance?
Smith replied, “A little over $10,000.”
Prior to the discovery of the theft, Smith said she had last been to the bank in December. She said she had given no one permission to make withdrawals from the account.
Smith said she reported the theft to the bank and the missing money was later credited to her account.
A bank employee testified that she served Moree when she made the withdrawals and identified her from the bank’s surveillance cameras.
The case continues.
Ian Cargill represents Moree.