Westpac sued a woman claiming she received money stolen by her husband using identity theft.
The primary judge found that there was sufficient evidence to infer that the wife had received the stolen funds because very substantial deposits to her account which she did not explain. The wife did not give evidence and was on social security benefits, had no other income. She appealed.
The appeal court agreed with the primary judge. The court drew the same inferences that the wife was the recipient of the stolen proceeds of her husband’s frauds and had received such proceeds with knowledge of the frauds. The court found that such inferences were not destroyed by the unexplained excess beyond the amounts stolen in her account. The court also referred the matter to Social Security, the ATO and the Crime Commissions.