“As sure as God made little apples, she would have reinvented herself and she will be ripping someone off in England as we speak,” predicted a former colleague of Joanne Harrison.
A new investigation reveals the charming fraudster, who stole from New Zealand businesses and government agencies before fleeing to the UK, is indeed up to her old tricks.
Award-winning investigative team Stuff Circuit exposed Joanne Harrison (who also went by the aliases Joanne Sharp and Joanne Sidebottom) as a charismatic and manipulative conwoman whose court-ordered name suppression enabled her repeat offending.
Stuff Circuit went to court to have the suppression lifted and revealed the full extent of her crimes in the 2019 documentary, The Fraudster.
It uncovered how she lied on her New Zealand visa application, created fake job references, duped senior executives, falsified invoices and personal expenses and charmed her way through several government jobs in New Zealand and Australia – all whilst earning six figure salaries.
Harrison stole more than $700,000 from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, a story that made front page news back in 2017. After serving time for that fraud, Harrison was deported back to the UK. On release from prison she promised she would go straight and continue to use the name Joanne Harrison.
Can a bad apple turn good? The latest Stuff Circuit investigation has discovered that promise – like so much of what she says – was a lie. Who has Joanne Harrison become? And who’s she conning now? Tune into Alias for more.
Alias was produced with funding from NZ On Air. Scan the QR code below to watch the documentary and explore interactive content at www.stuff.co.nz/circuit.