Man who fooled for money gets 4 years

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A man who had been going around luring people to give him money for overseas investment and in return of huge profits has been sent to jail for four years.

David Tuita Lafuia was sentenced by the court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of false pretence on February 19, 2021.

The accused lied to nine individuals and obtained a total amount $27,000 through his cunning actions.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea who presided over the case said assessing the facts of the case, the accused had pre-meditated the and pre-planned to steal money from the victims.

“This is not a spur of the moment incident but the defendant had taken time to plan this, the offences were repeated and committed over a period of time until it was discovered,” Iomea said.

The accused’s action has put nine different individuals and probably their families in a very difficult financial positions at the time and may take time for them to recover from it, Iomea said.

He said the lies and deceitful tactic used by the defendant clearly demonstrated the work of a pure con man, taking advantage of the situation and fooling the individuals and rob them of their hard-earned money.

“I agreed with the prosecution that this type of offending appears to be prevalent,” Iomea said.

Iomea said the society has no place for people who go around conning others in order to earn money therefore, a deterrent sentence is called for.

“This is a shameful and lazy way of earning an income. Only lazy people resort to this kind of behaviour, I say this because in society, notwithstanding difficult economic situations such as the one presented by COVID-19, there are still genuine ways of earning money to keep one survive.

“Societies disapproves and will not tolerate such behaviour. The court has a duty to ensure that such people are isolated from the community. It must impose a sentence that serves as punishment and deterrence. The sentence that will be imposed should also send the message clear to likeminded other that those who follow suit will face the same consequences,” Iomea said.

This is the incidents that were occurred on different dates of last year in Honiara.

The first incident occurred on June 26, 2020 where the accused called the victim on her mobile phone and introduced the network to her. They had a conversation and introduced to her about an investment he joins namely Barrack Trade Investment Network BTIN and is located in London United Kingdom.

The accused told the victim to give him a sum $1500 and he will complete the remaining amount to reach the required amount of $5000, he told her that she will get an interest of $84,000 after 10 weeks, having heard what the accused have said the victim gave him the money, the victim was also told that she will receive a confirmation through email about the payment, after 10 weeks there was no email or payment received.

DCM Iomea said five incidents occurred on five different people in the month of July on different dates and time and obtained $13,500, from those four victims, he promised then that they will get their money after 10 weeks, that promise was never happen.

The other three incidents occurred in the month of August 21, 2020, the three-victim met with the accused at Water Lilly, he told them about the investment, in which they were convinced and a total of $15,000 was given to the accused, the victims waited for their profits on the dates promised to them but they did not receive any email or any payments since then.

Public Prosecutor Vernon Taupongi appears for the crown while Emy Rusi of the Public Solicitor’s Office represented the accused.