A former food blogger, Aimee Pitman, and her boyfriend have recently been given a 7-year jail sentence. The two admitted to defrauding 17 people, of a total of $1.7 million! The shocking part is that these 17 people happen to be friends and family.
“This is, in the history of the NT, one of the most significant frauds that the courts have seen,” Crown Prosecutor David Morters told the court. It turns out Aimee (27) was one of the nicest people ever. However, her plan with banker boyfriend, 32 year-old Colin Voeuk, backfired.
The court revealed how the pair, sweet-talked their closest friends and family into putting money into an investment–pub ATMs, that did not actually exist.
“The scam relied on later investors buying into the scheme to pay “dividends” to earlier investors”, according to the NT News.
“Many people’s lives have been, if not ruined, brought to the brink of ruin by the lies told by these offenders.”
The two raked in $1.7 million and spent it on ‘good-living’
The strange thing is that so far, there’s still no real explanation for the fraud. Aimee’s lawyer, John Adams, said his client, who now works as a hairdresser in jail, had “not been able to provide a reason for her offending”.
“It’s mixed up, in my submission, with her desire to get ahead in life,” he explained.
As if it weren’t enough to dupe people, the couple unwisely spent most of the money they made on extravagant lifestyles. Yup! In four years, they blew $1 million of the amount amassed on vacations and fast-living.
The craziest part of the story is that Aimee scammed her own father
Reports have revealed that in addition to friends, Aimee lured her own father into investing in the fake scheme. Mr Pitman lost $300,00 to the scam, yet still stood by his daughter in trial. In fact, police state that he changed his story twice in order to keep her from jail.
“He remained loyal by insisting he gave her the money to boost her pre-packaged health food business Food is Life”.
Food blogger sentenced to 7 years in jail for Ponzi scheme
After spending the last seven months in jail awaiting trial, their lawyer believes the two should have now felt the effects of their crime.
“Over the course of the last seven months, sitting in a jail in the suburbs of Darwin, anyone would be remorseful,” Mr Morters said.
And even though they pleaded guilty, Aimee and Colin were handed a 7 year sentence, with a parole possibility after four years.