News

Conman forces woman to sell

A conman has swindled "tens of thousands" of dollars out of a vulnerable elderly woman, forcing her to sell her popular wedding venue.
A conman has swindled "tens of thousands" of dollars out of a vulnerable elderly woman, forcing her to sell her popular wedding venue. Barry Leddicoat

A VULNERABLE elderly woman has been forced to sell her popular wedding venue after a conman swindled her out of "tens of thousands" of dollars, leaving her with no money to live on.

Joy Wright, 70, has owned and operated her pride and joy, Waterview Estate, on Gavin St for the past 15 years but has been forced to put it up for auction on September 29.

Mrs Wright's son, Nick Champness, said his mum was suffering from early onset stages of dementia, which had left her a vulnerable target to a man who befriended her in the past 18 months.

"Mum's capabilities of being aware of the conman were legitimately diminished," he said.

Mr Champness said his mum had been conned out of all her life savings and she had no money left to live on.

"The conman did attempt to take more than her life savings," he said.

"He tried to get mum into a reverse mortgage."

Mr Champness claimed the man had taken Mrs Wright to "every financial institution in Bundaberg" until the application for the reverse mortgage - which allows people to draw on a portion of the equity in their property - had been approved.

"Once we found out about it, we took action immediately," he said.

Mr Champness said his mum's bank account had been queried on a daily basis and, when money would appear, the man would withdraw every cent until the account was wiped clean.

"We've spent $12,000 paying her outstanding bills," he said.

"I'm having to dig into my pocket to pay people the money that this person has taken.

"I feel as though he's stolen from me as well."

Mrs Wright is now living with Mr Champness and the rest of their family in Sydney while the matter is being dealt with by the courts.

"Part of what we are trying to do is get Mum diagnosed so we can get her some treatment," he said.

"Mum was going to pay for the treatment so she could have a longer, independent life. That opportunity has been stolen from her."

Mr Champness said the family was also trying to deal with refunding the brides and grooms who had already made bookings at the estate.

"We're honouring the use of the grounds until the property exchanges," he said.

"We can't honour them after that."

Mr Champness said he apologised to those who had to have their bookings cancelled.

He said Mrs Wright knew she couldn't keep Waterview for ever.

"But it didn't need to come this quickly."

Topics:  conman, scam



Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Unlike: the Facebook scam targeting Bundy businesses

ALARM BELLS: Cool Bananas co-owner Sharlene Gemming managed to avoid the phishing trap. Photo: Eliza Goetze / NewsMail

Scammers are targetting local cafes on Facebook

Local Partners

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state