Convicted fraudster treated ‘unfairly’ when found guilty of stealing $787k from Australian porn king


An employee who police claimed stole more than $780,000 from the adult retail business of Sydney’s terminally ill “porn king” has had half of her convictions overturned.

Neva Liana Lozzi, 46, was a trusted employee of a string of adult stores owned by Con Ange between 2015 and 2020, when police claim she helped herself to $787,571 from the Ange Con Group.

She was sentenced to three years in prison in July 2021 in the Local Court and immediately filed an appeal against her conviction in the District Court. Ms Lozzi has since been released on bail.

Lozzi faced the Downing Centre District Court via audiovisual link on Friday, where Judge John Pickering sensationally overturned 15 of her 29 convictions.

Camera IconNeva Lozzi has had 15 of her 29 convictions overturned by a judge, who claimed she was treated ‘unfairly’. NCA NewsWire / David Swift Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr Ange previously told the court Lozzi’s criminal activity took place as he was dealing with a raft of personal matters including being diagnosed with motor-neuron disease.

He faced the court on Friday with assistance from two nurses and in a wheelchair.

Lozzi pleaded not guilty in 2020 to making 380 transfers between five years, which amounted to 29 charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

She claimed the payments were legitimate and were part of her salary paid in an “unconventional” way by Mr Ange, but a magistrate found her guilty in May 2021 of all 29 charges.

The court was told she used the money to pay for international holidays, rent, credit card bills, wedding expenses and her children’s private school photos.

Judge Pickering told the court fresh evidence was provided during the appeal hearing, which laid out “flaws” in the case.

Downing Centre
Camera IconCon Ange, the ‘Sydney Porn King’, who is now in a wheelchair due to his motor-neuron disease, did not make a comment to media outside court. NCA NewsWire / David Swift Credit: News Corp Australia

“What ended up happening here created real problems as to how it should be resolved; the outcome has some degree of dissatisfaction,” he said.

Early in the judgment, he admitted the outcome would benefit Lozzi more than the prosecutors.

Judge Pickering said the hearing which took place in the Local Court was “unusual” as each individual charge was not considered separately at the insistence of both the police prosecution and Lozzi’s defence lawyer.

He also said the hearing was heard “on a false basis”.

“If you’re not going to lead evidence to prove an offence, it would be crucial in a matter like this to run it with some degree of precision,” he told the court.

This ultimately led to multiple unfair convictions, the judge said, and led to many of the charges being dismissed.

ADULT SHOP FRAUD
Camera IconLozzi was told her sentence will be significantly reduced. NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker Credit: News Corp Australia

Judge Pickering ultimately overturned 15 of the 29 guilty pleas and quashed the convictions, finding there was no evidence which proved the charges.

The total quantity Lozzi is now guilty of taking from her former boss is just $176,000.

“Some of the larger offences are now not guilty, the total amount of deception is dramatically less than what the magistrate found proven,” Judge Pickering told the court.

“The sentence in this matter must change significantly.”

Lozzi will remain on bail until she faces another hearing in the form of a severity appeal, to determine her sentence.

Judge Pickering told her there is a “massive chance” she is facing a lesser sentence of an Intensive Corrections Order.

Mr Ange did not make a comment to media outside court as the matter is now facing civil proceedings in the Supreme Court.



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