A jailed bank swindler who has incriminated his ex-girlfriend is a “miserable, evil little bush” whose “tongue dripped with lies”, a jury has been told.
“In the honesty effort, she has nothing to do for her,” Winston Terracini SC said in his closing speech in NSW District Court on Thursday.
His client Junchi Ma has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges of proceeds of crime.
They are related to his alleged involvement in his then partner’s misappropriation of $ 2.4 million from a Commonwealth Bank customer’s account in 2015.
“He may be a dupe or a fool, but as he said, ‘I’m not a villain,'” Terracini said.
The now 31-year-old was in a relationship with bank cashier Hsin-Yu “Angie” Tsai, who has testified for the crown.
She is behind bars after pleading guilty to the fraud that was committed when Ma was completing a master’s degree in applied finance at Macquarie University.
Before the closing speech began Thursday, Judge Craig Smith ordered the jury to acquit Ma of three of the 18 charges he faced, as the evidence could not establish a significant ingredient in those circumstances.
The Crown claims Ma’s desire to buy a $ 650,000 Ferrari fueled his emotional and financial pressure on his girlfriend to cheat the funds.
Tsai’s evidence included telling the jury that Ma was the one who raised the possibility of accessing the victim’s millions
She testified about having put the stolen money into an account that his friend had, following suggestions from her boyfriend who had the login information.
But Mr Terracini attacked the credibility of the “Crown star witness” and said she had been covering her tracks for years and even the banking experts did not know how she got away with her insult.
“If she told you it was raining, you would go outside and check,” he said.
“She is a lowly, contemptible, deceitful, dishonest woman who was clearly full of greed, love of money and was willing to do anything.”
Ma testified that he had thought the money had come from her parents, which Mr Terracini said was what this “miserable, evil little bush” also told a colleague.
“If she is capable of deceiving and fooling people with authority in the bank, she is quite capable of deceiving this young man, and it is said that she did,” he said.
Tsai was also “capable of spinning a yarn”, and had “lied and lied and lied” and “used his charm” during intercepted phone calls played to the jury.
Prosecutor Michael Smith agreed that Tsai had told lies in the phone recording and that “she was good at it”.
But he urged the jury to also look at “technically-like evidence” such as documents that did not lie.
Tsai undoubtedly exploited his knowledge of the banking systems, but that did not preclude Ma’s involvement in the insult that the Crown claimed involved in conducting online transactions.
Sir. Terracini said documents do not prove Ma had “knowledge” that he knew the money was stolen or tainted.
Ma had explained that he thought the money was from Tsai’s parents.
“If you can not prove knowledge, it’s over red-rover.”
Australian Associated Press