The ‘Accidental Millionaire’ Hiu Gao


Hiu Gao, otherwise known as Leo Gao, faces 16 charges of theft and two charges of money laundering in relation to the missing money.

Mr Gao’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield, was in the High Court in Auckland today appealing a Rotorua District Court decision denying him electronic bail in January.

Justice Murray Gilbert reserved his decision after a 90-minute bail hearing and said he hoped to deliver his ruling at 4pm (2pm AEDT) today.

The basis for the bail application and the judge’s reasons for the bail decision are suppressed.

Mr Gao, 31, had sought a $NZ100,000 ($78,580) overdraft from Westpac but the bank inadvertently credited his account with $NZ10 million.

He allegedly left New Zealand after the money was deposited in his account.

The charges against him relate to the theft of $NZ6.8 million.

Mr Gao’s former partner, Kara Hurring, is also charged over the incident.

She was charged after returning to New Zealand and has been released on bail.

Ms Hurring was due to be tried this month but the Crown wants the pair to be tried together.

Their trial is likely to be in the second half of the year.