A 22-year-old woman has admitted defrauding a man she met online of HK$303,000 (US$39,044), Apple Daily reported Tuesday.
A Tuen Mun magistrate’s court heard Monday that the saleswoman, surnamed Choy, told her victim on April 21, 2014, a day after they became online friends via the Skout app, that she would need a large sum of money for an operation on her grandmother, who had heart disease.
Choy promised to return the money after being reimbursed by an insurance company.
The man, surnamed Lok and in his 20s, said his grandmother had just passed away at the time, so he had great sympathy for Choy.
He decided to give her a total of HK$303,000 in 27 transfers between April 22 and May 6 that year.
Lok called the police on June 12, 2014, after browsing Choy’s Facebook account and suspecting he might have been scammed.
Police arrested Choy at her home in March last year.
Che confessed under police caution that she spent all the money on shopping.
The magistrate said a jail term is unavoidable, as Choy was not in great financial hardship when she committed the crime, and it is not the first time she was convicted of fraud.
The sum involved is large, and Choy is not able to repay the money, the magistrate said.
Lok said he only took pity on Choy and feels helpless now, knowing he cannot have his money back.
In hindsight, he said he finds it difficult to understand why he made the decisions he did back then.
The defendant’s attorney pleaded for leniency, saying Choy is ill and has been pregnant for three months.
Sentencing will be on March 29.
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