Man accused of defrauding elderly granted bail in Newcastle court

Newcastle Courthouse.
Newcastle Courthouse.

A man has been granted conditional bail in court after 19 fraud-related charges were levelled at him over alleged thefts from elderly people from the Central Coast and southern parts of the state.

Police arrested Tonga Harris after an investigation into alleged cases of bank cards being stolen and accounts being accessed, which allegedly resulted in thefts from residents of retirement villages and seniors' residential complexes across the Central Coast, Southern Highlands, Illawarra and Canberra.

Police allege Mr Harris called the card owners in order to get details required to access their accounts between January and April this year.

Police allege he withdrew cash from ATMs at East Maitland, East Gosford, Tahmoor, Tuggerah Lakes, Belmont, Dapto and Canberra.

The 45-year-old was arrested at a home at Springfield, near Gosford, and taken to Woy Woy police station on Monday morning.

He was refused bail by police and charged with 19 counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and one count of possessing a prohibited drug.

Police seized several items during a search of the Central Coast home on Monday.

Mr Harris faced Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday, where Magistrate Hugh Donnelly granted him bail.

Among the conditions Magistrate Donnelly set down, Mr Harris will be required to report to Gosford police station three times a week and cannot leave his home unless in the company of his mother. Mr Harris will face court next at Moss Vale, in the NSW Southern Highlands, on June 2.

Police on Tuesday issued a reminder to the public, particularly elderly people, not to give personal information or bank details to others over the phone.

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This story Man accused of defrauding elderly granted bail in Newcastle court first appeared on Newcastle Herald.