A mother-of-four who scammed an “extraordinarily generous” elderly woman of almost $200,000 by leading her to believe the money would be used to fight a court case has been jailed for two years over the “despicable” fraud.
Vanessa Shylini Lalsing, 45, and the victim first came into contact in 2010 after an article was published in The West Australian about Lalsing’s battle to pay her bills as she cared for her dying husband.
The then 69-year-old woman contacted Lalsing and offered her a $1500 cash gift card to help her with living expenses and training costs so she could find a job. Lalsing contacted the victim again five years later claiming she needed a loan to help fight an unfair dismissal case.
The victim made 39 deposits into Lalsing’s bank account between October 2015 and October 2016, totalling $195,200. Lalsing claimed the money would be used to pay legal bills but it was used on tuition fees, shopping, rent and “luxuries and treats” for her children.
The deception included Lalsing copying genuine court judgments and rewording them so they appeared to be in her favour.
District Court Judge Alan Troy said the offending involved a very serious breach of trust.
He ordered $1500 to be paid to the victim after being told that amount had been set aside, as “it seems to me impracticable … to make any greater sum”.