Chilean ordered to stay and repay


A Chilean man who admits taking new loans on assets with existing security claims has been ordered to stay on after his work visa expires to finish repayments.

Bruno Matias Jesus Mellado Mellado, 23, initially denied two charges of obtaining by deception and two charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage when he appeared this week at a judge-alone trial before Judge Michael Turner in the Queenstown District Court. 

But he agreed to plead guilty after Turner indicated he wouldn’t go to jail.

Police withdrew one of the charges for using a document for pecuniary advantage. 

Police said Mellado, who is in New Zealand on a working holiday, bought a car in Christchurch on November 25 last year for $9990, and agreed to borrow $9383.

On November 28, he used the car as security to get a $3000 loan from Queenstown pawn store Plej, signing a declaration stating the car had no security interest.

The store’s online credit and security checks on the vehicle did not show the credit sale agreement.

On December 1, Mellado returned to Plej and borrowed $150 by using an iPhone as security.

He didn’t tell the dealer the phone had been partly bought on credit.

The following day, he reported to police he had lost the phone during the preceding five days, and was given a lost property form for making an insurance claim.

After questioning Mellado through an interpreter, Judge Turner indicated lenders’ commercial imperative was first to secure collateral, so a defence appeared unlikely.

Mellado was convicted and sentenced to 60 hours’ community work and ordered to repay Plej $3150 at a rate of $150 a week.

As Mellado’s work visa expires on July 2, Immigration New Zealand will be told he can’t leave the country until the full amount has been repaid.

Otago Daily Times