Counterfeit fraudster behind bars

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Senior Constable Dean Bristow with the fake $100 notes which circulated around Albany in 2017.
Camera IconSenior Constable Dean Bristow with the fake $100 notes which circulated around Albany in 2017. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A Perth woman who brazenly ripped off Albany businesses using fake $100 notes has been jailed for three years.

Terri Anne Harapeet, 37, was jailed in the Perth District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to two counts of possessing counterfeit money and 12 counts of uttering counterfeit currency.

The court was told after committing offences in Perth, Harapeet and her partner travelled to Albany, where she used the fake $100 notes to buy goods from five Albany businesses.

The Reject Shop, Dymocks, IGA York Street, Moby Dick’s Fish and Chips, and Best and Less were all targeted in March, 2017.

On each occasion, she would enter the store, sometimes in a disguise with a wig, and hand over a fake $100 note for items and receive change. In total, Harapeet uttered and possessed $4100 of counterfeit notes and also obtained $1249.20 of real Australian currency, causing a loss to the various retailers.

Woolworths Bayonet Head was also targeted by Harapeet as she attempted to buy two drinks and two gift cards worth $805.80, but the transaction was cancelled when the notes were inspected and found to be fake.

Harapeet and her partner were arrested by Australian Federal Police at Perth Airport in April, 2017.

Defence lawyer Abigail Rogers called for a substantial discount in penalty because of her client’s guilty pleas to avoid trial.

In handing down her sentence, Judge Belinda Lonsdale labelled the offending “brazen, persistent and ongoing”.

Judge Lonsdale ordered that Harapeet be released after serving 18 months upon providing a bond of $5000 for good behaviour.

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