Thursday, March 13, 2008

A modern red riding wolf story

I've learnt one thing in life. Its hard to make money. But its even harder to keep it.

Its worse when you have smooth talking charlatans who worm their way into people's hearts and take their money.

Here's another story that illustrates this point...

A life of mansions and Mercedes has landed a woman in court, Kate McClymont reports.

AS THE sheriff's officers approached bearing handcuffs, the woman in the designer suit carefully removed her diamond earrings and placed them in her brown Gucci handbag before she was taken away.

Minutes earlier, Downing Centre Local Court had heard that Naomi Anderson, 52, a Double Bay restaurant owner, had breached her bail conditions. Anderson, also known as Naomi Park, Naomi Fukaura and Eun-Gyoung Park, is alleged to have perpetrated one of the country's largest frauds, costing her friends, shop owners, her husband and his relatives up to $20 million. While on bail, police told the court, she continued to take money from investors.

Six single mothers and elderly widows have been left destitute after selling their houses and giving the money to Anderson to invest. One woman, who lost $1.4 million, is cleaning houses, another is looking for boarding house accommodation.

Anderson's former husband, Wayne Anderson, 42, whom she met when he was a doorman at the then Ritz Carlton in Double Bay, lost his house and was bankrupted in February, two days after she was arrested and charged with obtaining money by deception.

For eight years Anderson was Imelda Marcos on wheels, with a vast collection of designer clothes and shoes. She was chauffeured around in her $200,000 Mercedes, with a Honda and Toyota Prado as runarounds.

One former friend, who lost nearly $1 million, told the Herald this week Anderson had hundreds of designer shoes, glasses, bags and clothes. "Double Bay would have closed down without her," she said. Another described Anderson's five-bedroom Vaucluse waterfront house as having two rooms full of racks of Prada, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and other designer clothes. Another rack was crammed with fur coats.

As well as the 200 or so pairs of shoes in the house, another 300 pairs were gathering mould underneath it.

"I've lost $460,000 and I'm a single mum who's worked my whole life and never spent money on myself and now I am back to square one. I'm destitute," said Jody, who didn't want to give her surname.

Now living on the South Coast, Jody was working as a landscaper in Sydney six days a week to make ends meet. Anderson, whom she met through friends, convinced her life did not have to be so hard.

"She made me sell my home and give her the money. I know that sounds really weird - 'made me' - but she led me to believe that was the right thing for me to do financially."

For a while the promised interest payments came, but then dried up.

Read here for more

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