© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Ex-Wife of famous Conman appears in court.

Travis Mitchell

A woman has appeared in Christchurch District Court today facing seven charges of obtaining by deception.

Simone Wright, ex-wife of convicted fraudster Paul Bennett, is facing seven charges of obtaining by deception after allegedly partaking in scamming $35,000 through fake TradeMe sales.

Wright pleaded not guilty to the charges before Judge Paul Kellar in the Christchurch District Court.

He ex-husband Bennett pleaded guilty to seven representative fraud charges totalling $580,000 last month. He was sentenced to three years and two months in prison.

Items the couple had listed on TradeMe included a silage wagon, a quad bike, an eight-person life raft, fishing tracker and a motorbike three times.

The couple listed a Kawasaki children's motorbike three times on TradeMe stating that they were selling the bike because their "son had cancer and could no longer ride his pride and joy", which they had bought for his birthday in February 2008.

Two witnesses told the court they were duped into paying thousands of dollars for a second-hand motorcycle that never arrived.

One of the complainants told the court he lost the auction for the motorcycle but shortly after the online auction closed, the seller called him to say the original sale had fallen through.

The buyer said he later received an email outlining the details of his purchase and the bank account number to transfer money to.

The buyer also stated that he spoke to Simone, who was going under the name of Susan, on the phone and had a "good old friendly chat" about their children and felt very sympathetic when told about the son with cancer.

"It all sounded legitimate."

The buyer and his wife never heard from the couple again once they had made the bank payment.

The complainants said they made many attempts to contact the seller and get their money from their bank but were not successful. The motorcycle never arrived.

Defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger asked if there was any chance the woman he spoke to on the phone may have been man posing as a woman. The complainant burst into laughter before Bulger finished her question and said "not a chance".

A recording of the crown prosecutor's interview with Wright was played in court. In it, Wright said she didn't know about money being stolen at the time and was sent to withdraw money by Bennett.

"I don’t know about these things, I don’t know about money stolen, I know now, but I didn’t."

The trial is expected to last two days with Judge Kellar to make his verdict on Tuesday.