One half of a lesbian couple that conned two vulnerable older men out of their lifesavings across the Wyong area has had nine more months added to her sentence.
Aruna Gould was sentenced to five years incarceration with a non-parole period of three years and nine months in January, after she and her partner pleaded guilty to their roles in swindling two men out of more than $50,000, but on October 25, Gould was back in Gosford Court and slapped with a further nine months after being found guilty of cheating a third man out of more than $13,000.
In an agreed upon Statement of Facts (SOF) read to the court, it was revealed that Gould met her latest victim, a 77-year-old East Gosford man, at Swansea RSL Club.
After becoming intimate, Gould began requesting sums of money from the man for various reasons, including car repairs and medical expenses, including one instance where Gould told the man she had been robbed whilst under the effects of anaesthesia during a stint at St Vincent’s Hospital and needed money to get by.
This motif rang true with Gould’s previous conviction where she and her partner befriended two elderly men and obtained large sums of money from them via deceitful means, including lying about needing funds to flee a violent domestic partner and for lifesaving cancer treatments.
At the time, Presiding Judge, David Wilson, sentenced Gould to the maximum penalty, stating she lacked remorse for her actions and claimed that she was “not of good character”, given she had been living off a government pension at the time of her first two offences.
Judge Wilson also made it clear that during Gould’s first sentencing, the court was aware that she had incurred a massive gambling debt at venues across Wyong and Doyalson of more than $300,000, during the time of her first two victim’s defrauding.
According to the SOF, it wasn’t until the thirdf man’s bank issued him a list of known scammers (following his multiple, suspicious account withdrawals), on which Gould was named, that he became suspicious and reported what was going on to police.
Following the proceedings, Gould was sentenced to a further two years and three months with a non-parole period of nine months.
Gould’s partner, Maria Virgili, was due to be sentenced in April, but had her case adjourned so that her defence could prepare medical and psychiatric reports.
She’ll face Gosford Court again in November.
Transcript and casefile, Oct 25
NSW Department of Justice, 2018/00199027
Court notes and casefile, Jan 31
NSW Department of Justice, 2015/00261537
NSW Department of Justice, 2015/00261539
Dilon Luke, Journalist