Police powerless to act against convicted fraudster
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Police, Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu, has confirmed there is no official complaint filed against a woman convicted and jailed in New Zealand a decade ago for fraud.
Wanted in New Zealand for an unpaid hotel bill, Tracey Anne Gordon, has surfaced in Samoa, with a member of the business community ringing the alarm bells about her presence.
During a press conference yesterday, Su’a confirmed that Ms. Gordon has been spotted by some people in Upolu.
“Although an officer had seen her, we cannot detain her unless there is an official complaint against her,” said Su’a.
“But we do acknowledge the reports on the media alerting businesses about the woman.”
Repeated attempts to get a comment from Ms. Gordon were unsuccessful.
When Lynn’s Getaway at Moto’otua where she had stayed for two weeks was contacted for a comment, a staff member who is not authorised to speak to the media said Ms. Gordon left a week ago. She hasn’t paid her bill.
“She hasn’t come back to the hotel,” said the staff member. “She stayed with us for two weeks but when we went down to check the room she was in a week ago it was only her luggage that was there. Tracey hasn’t turned up at the hotel ever since.”
Last week, a business woman who did not want to be named wanted to alert the business community about the antics of Ms. Gordon.
“I just want people to know that this woman Tracey is not who she says she is,” said the businesswoman. “She is very nice and a good talker but she’s not who people think she is. She is not to be believed that she has money because she passed on a forged cheque to me which the police are investigating.
I know there are several other hoteliers to whom she has not paid accommodation and she is going around to other hoteliers.”
The businesswoman accused Ms. Gordon of preying on people and owing people money.
“Like I said, I just want people to be warned that she is a schemer and owes money to other businesses in hotels in New Zealand.”
Sinalei Reef Resort has already become a victim. Manager Sose Annandale confirmed Ms. Gordon owes them money for accommodation and the matter has been referred to their lawyer.
Asked how much money she owes, Ms. Annandale said: “I really prefer not to disclose that. It’s awkward because Samoa is a small place and everyone is related to someone.”
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald on 3rd September 2016, Ms. Gordon “sentenced to jail a decade ago for fraud and has a string of ill-fated ventures behind her, including one her own lawyer described in court as "fairyland stuff".
The story says that Ms. Gordon left The Surrey Hotel in February telling staff she was going to San Francisco on business.
She stayed on and off at the hotel in Grey Lynn for more than two years and regularly paid her bills using her father's credit card.
But her father, marine explorer Keith Gordon, told the hotel they should have asked him before the credit card was used the last time, and he cancelled the payment, hotel manager Denise King told the Herald.
Tracey Gordon had grand plans, said King. She told staff that she was trading in aviation fuel and she offered a staff member a job as her personal chef on a yacht she planned to buy.
"She was going to buy an apartment at the Stamford [Hotel], another in Sydney. The apartments were worth millions and she would have the brochures to back her up."
King said she never saw evidence of the purchases or big business deals being concluded.
Gordon, 49, was sentenced to jail a decade ago after admitting eight charges of fraud. A Herald report about the case described her as petite, smartly-dressed, a forger and a thief with a penchant for Hilton hotels.
King said she wrongly assumed Gordon's father would pay his daughter's last bill because he always had previously.
"This time, he said, 'you should have called me,'" said King. "It's almost like he'd had enough of her."
The police have told King it is a civil matter. "It's a very bitter pill to try to have to swallow."
"We feel we have been 100 per cent ripped off. Her father is not part of it in any way but he could have warned us that he was no longer going to pay her bills."