False Tahitian prince who scammed nearly $ 20 million from Australians does not have to pay back the fortune
A fraudster posing as a prince and lifting $ 16 million from Australian taxpayers may not have to repay the money because “he spent it.”
Joseph Hohepa Morehu-Barlow, born in New Zealand, has stolen money from his employer Queensland Health for four years while working there as a financial officer.
In 2013, he was sentenced to 14 years behind bars at the Wolston Correctional Center in Brisbane and in December 2016 he was eligible for conditional release.
After two unsuccessful attempts to be released from prison, he has now been given conditional release and will be released.
Scroll down for video
Kiwi-born Joseph Hohepa Morehu-Barlow (photo) stole money from his employer Queensland Health more than four years after he got a job as a financial officer there
When he was arrested, the state government seized his apartment on the river and his cars and collected $ 11.8 million. Nine news reported.
But Morehu-Barlow still owes $ 12 million to the state government because of commission, but he will probably never pay it back because he doesn’t have the money.
Terry O’Gorman, Queensland Councilor for Civil Liberties, said: “It makes sense for the government to face and write reality [the money] from.
“The only way the government gets it is if it wins the lottery in New Zealand big.”
The now 45-year-old will be released before the end of February and will be deported to New Zealand within a few days.
After two unsuccessful attempts to be released from prison, he has now received conditional release and will be released
Family members are said to be prepared for his release while officials organize his return trip to New Zealand.
Since his arrest, Morehu-Barlow has claimed to be a ‘changed man’, calling himself the ‘perfect prisoner’ and insisting on his freedom.
Morehu-Barlow twice applied for conditional release and was refused before submitting a third application in November 2019.
In February last year, letters were released between Morehu-Barlow and his mother, expressing his anger about his two rejected conditional applications.
In a letter from his cell, Morehu-Barlow explained that he turned to crime because he “wanted to be someone.”
He also claimed to have helped over 50 prisoners with their conditional release and they have all been successful except his.
“I’m political, I know, that’s why I don’t expect me to go home,” he wrote.
“I am willing to say no again. I am the perfect prisoner, a prisoner in the role model. If my crime wasn’t against the government, I’d be home already. ”
In 2013, he was sentenced to 14 years behind bars at the Wolston Correctional Center in southwest Brisbane and was eligible for conditional release in December 2016
Despite the fact that Morehu-Barlow still owes $ 12 million to the state government, it probably will never pay it back because he has not got the money
In the letters he acknowledged the shame he had given his family and asked for his mother’s forgiveness.
He said that jail time had taught him to appreciate family more than ever, as he is preparing a third application to the Parole Board.
“I now know that the most valuable gift / item / things in life are not money, wealth, flash house or cars – they are people, especially family,” he said.
The fraudster’s crimes started in 2004 when he entered Queensland Health with a fake diploma and quickly reached the rank of becoming a financial officer.
In the next six years he stole money and covered it by saying he was royalty, starting with transferring small amounts for charities to his private bank account.
Kiwi-born Joseph Hohepa Morehu-Barlow (photo) has deceived his employer Queensland Health in a four-year period in which he has nearly $ 17 million in rope
In 2013, luxury items were seized from Morehu-Barlow’s auctioned in Brisbane to raise money for Queensland Health
When he found that he was not caught, he started transferring public funds to his own accounts.
In 2011, $ 11 million was missing from Queensland Health, which Morehu-Barlow used to purchase a luxury apartment for $ 5.4 million, to the authorities’ attention.
Before his December 2011 arrest, Morehu-Barlow told friends and colleagues that he was a Polynesian prince.
Before his December 2011 arrest, Morehu-Barlow told friends and colleagues that he was a Polynesian prince
This enabled him to lead an extravagant life where he would splash on exorbitant branded items, gifts for friends and a luxury New Farm unit of millions of dollars.
Morehu-Barlow received a prison sentence of 14 years in 2013, with conditional release in December 2016.
Since being eligible for conditional release, he has cost taxpayers nearly $ 130,000 while imprisoned in Wolston prison near Brisbane.
According to Queensland Corrective Services’ official prisoner prices, it would cost at least $ 65,000 to house and feed it for a year.
The first request for conditional release in February 2017 was refused by the conditional board, while a second request was postponed in November 2017 before it was again refused.
The outcome of the request was unclear, but it is understood that the board had previously decided that it would be an “unacceptable risk to the New Zealand community”.
Despite the authorities claiming to have recovered about $ 11.88 million, Morehu-Barlow owes the state a higher amount of $ 11.6 million – because more than $ 50,000 in interest is accrued every month.
This allowed him to lead an extravagant life in which he would splash on exorbitant brand items, gifts for friends and a luxury New Farm unit of millions of dollars (photo: police investigate his apartment on the river)
Morehu-Barlow’s visa was automatically canceled under the Migration Act.
The law, which was updated in 2014, is aimed at foreign nationals convicted of crimes with a prison sentence of at least one year.
When it is finally released in New Zealand, Morehu-Barlow will face ‘conditional’ circumstances.
The state government can continue to pursue him for the money by applying for his debt.
In 2013, luxury items were seized from Morehu-Barlow’s auction in Brisbane to raise money for Queensland Health.
The auction included dozens of items from his one of his favorite designers, Louis Vuitton, as well as art, designer alcohol and appliances.
The auction (photo) included dozens of items from his one of his favorite designers, Louis Vuitton, as well as art, designer alcohol and appliances