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17-209MR Former director of aged care facility charged with fraud
The former director of Parklane Assets Pty Ltd (Parklane), Mrs Gela Anne Newitt, has been charged with fraud. Counsel for Mrs Newitt appeared on her behalf on 7 June 2017 in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
Mrs Newitt used Parklane to operate the Mentone Gardens Supportive Care Home (Mentone Gardens) in Mentone, Victoria.
It is alleged that on two occasions in February 2009 and March 2009, Mrs Newitt dishonestly obtained a financial advantage for herself by falsely representing to residents of Mentone Gardens that their deposit money would be held in a trust account and that interest gained from this money would be used to reduce accommodation fees.
It is also alleged that on two occasions in January 2010 and July 2010, Mrs Newitt dishonestly appropriated deposit money belonging to residents of Mentone Gardens with the intention of permanently depriving them of their money.
The charges were brought against Mrs Newitt following an ASIC investigation into her conduct as the director of Parklane.
Mrs Newitt did not enter a plea.
The matter was adjourned to a committal mention on 2 August 2017.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.
Mentone Gardens is a 42 bed aged care facility located in Mentone, Victoria. Parklane was placed in liquidation in 2013, leaving many residents and their families owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As a result of her alleged conduct, an investigation was conducted by the Victorian Ombudsman.
Mrs Newitt has been charged with two counts under section 82(1) and two counts under section 74(1) of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.
A committal mention was held at Melbourne Magistrate's Court on 2 August 2017. Mrs Newitt did not appear or enter a plea. The matter has been listed for a contested committal hearing on 1-2 February 2018.
Editor's note 2:
On 2 February 2018 the matter was set down for a three-week trial in the County Court of Victoria, commencing 26 November 2018.
Editor's note 3:
The trial set to commence on 26 November 2018 did not proceed and the matter has been adjourned until 18 December 2018.
Editor's note 4:
On 18 December 2018 the matter was set down for a four-week trial in the County Court of Victoria, commencing 5 August 2019.
Editor's note 5:
At an arraignment in the County Court of Victoria on 15 July 2019, Ms Newitt entered a guilty plea. The trial date of 5 August 2019 has been delisted and the matter has been adjourned to 27 August 2019 for a plea hearing.