Trusted mum steals $100K from ex, goes on holiday
A MOTHER stole more than $100,000 from a "naive" ex-girlfriend after promising to look after her finances during a vulnerable time in her life.
Maria Guiseppo Obah, 55, sobbed as she hugged her children goodbye after being sentenced to three-and-a-half years jail for fraudulently using the money in multiple transactions across five months.
The Sicilian-born woman held her head in her hands and appeared to hold back tears as Maroochydore District Court heard how she spent some of the money on holidays and let the victim fall into debt.
Crown prosecutor Alex Stark said Obah offered to pay the bills for a woman she was dating in 2016 when the woman came into a sum of settlement money after her marriage break-up.
The victim's ex-husband had dealt with the finances in their marriage and she turned to Obah for help.
It was not until the victim received demand notice letters in 2018 did she realise $153,303.07 was "sold" from her accounts.
The court heard Obah transferred $100,000 into her son's bank account and spent $12,000 on an overseas holiday between December 5, 2016 and May 18, 2017.
Obah denied any association with the money or the woman and was not remorseful when confronted with the transaction history.
She pleaded guilty at court on Monday to fraud- dishonestly gaining advantage more than $30,000, domestic violence offence.
Defence barrister David Crews did not dispute the facts, but said Obah may have a harder time in prison due to a leg injury and poor sight in her left eye.
Obah migrated to Australia when she was young and married an older man when she was 16.
The two children she had to the man were among a group supporting her at court on Monday.
Judge Glen Cash said the offences were "not sophisticated", and Obah was bound to be caught.
Obah's daughter gasped when her mother was sentenced to three-and-a-half years jail, suspended after serving 14 months and operational for five years.
The family hugged tightly and promised to visit Obah before she was escorted into custody.