Financial fraudster Aleksandra Frizell sentenced
Victims who got caught up in a colossal scam - where a woman defrauded hundreds of thousands of dollars by acting as a financial advisor to feed her online shopping and prescription medicine addiction - said they've been left "financially ruined".
A registered mortgage broker who went rogue, Aleksandra Frizzell, 37, faced Newcastle Local Court for sentencing on Monday after she preyed on numerous victims from across the Central Coast, Hunter and Bangalow, near Byron Bay, orchestrating dodgy home loans, using private information to set up fraudulent credit cards and advertising fake items on Facebook.
The cleverly planned and sophisticated scam, which went on for three and a half years, stung 14 victims out of more than $215,000.
The court heard Frizzell had a serious addiction to codeine and purchased material goods for pleasure, including four pairs of designer Christian Louboutin shoes worth more than $8000.
One of the victims, Justin Smith, lost more than $30,000, but admits it was probably closer to $60,000 after he trusted Frizzell when he was looking to purchase a home.
"We put a deposit on a home to move in and then her lies said that (the) loan fell through and we forfeited our $21,000 to the homeowner..." Mr Smith said.
"She made up more lies to say she had lawyer documents, and we paid out for that and there was never a lawyer.
"She really screwed us. It's hard to recover."
Amanda Williams was another victim of a phony first homeloan, while Frizzell also applied for a fraudulent credit card in her name.
"To this day I'm still trying to get all the damage she's done to my credit file removed," Ms Williams said.
"The stress, anxiety and frustration, not only on myself but my two small children."
Aleksander Frizzell was jailed for four years for fraud offences.
"We struggled to survive for months and she knew it," Ms Williams added.
"It was appalling conduct. She's a disgusting human being."
Frizzell pleaded guilty in December to a long list of fraud charges including dishonestly obtaining financial advantage; making false documents and deal with identification information with intent to commit an indictable offence.
In Newcastle Local Court on Monday, Frizzell sobbed via video link as she was sentenced to four years jail, with a non-parole period of two years and three months, eligible for parole in October next year.
The Crown Prosecution's argument against Frizzell noted the amount of money, time and motivation involved, the degree of planning and sophistication and a motive of greed.
"Exploitation and manipulation of these people purely for greed," Magistrate Robert Stone said.
Victim Justin Smith was disappointed with the four-year sentence given to Frizzell. Pic Amy Ziniak
"The victims would have suffered significant trauma, even people she knew as friends were exploited.
"To lie and cheat in a position of trust, she knew their situation and continued to make it worse."
A sentencing assessment report found Frizzell's remorse to be limited, centred on herself and her family and her two kids, not so much her victims.
In court to see her sentenced, victims found the jail term handed down as insufficient.
They wanted to see the full term of five years enforced, the maximum able to be given by the local court.
"It has disgusted me they can let her have such a small sentence knowing that she has done this for years," Ms Williams said.
Mr Smith added, "I'm still pissed off she didn't get enough time but I am relieved it is all over and done with."