A 64-year-old Burnie widower was scammed into committing criminal acts, a court has heard.
On Thursday, Teresa Anne Netz pleaded guilty in the Burnie Supreme Court to one count of dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Crown prosecutor Katie Edwards told the court Netz began an online relationship with an American man known only as Andrew Duckworth about two years ago.
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About nine months in to the relationship Duckworth told Netz his boss wanted to transfer some money into an Australian account, and at some time later she provided her account details.
Ms Edwards told the court the money, about $16,000, which was then transferred into her account actually belonged to Texas Earthmoving, a family business.
She said cyber criminals had infiltrated the company's emails and resent invoices to their clients.
"She was aware... the money was fraudulent."Katie Edwards
"They gain access to those emails and invoices, and then redo the invoices with the same letterheads, exactly the same details," Ms Edwards said.
"The only change being the account details."
The account was Netz's, and Ms Edwards said the woman was used as a "money mule".
Once the clients paid the invoices and the money arrived in Netz's account, the court heard, the scammer then asked her to transfer it to a Westpac account.
However, when she attempted to do so the money was flagged by the bank, who contacted Netz and advised her they could not accept the funds because it was fraudulent.
She then committed a "reckless" criminal act by transferring it to a different account when instructed by Duckworth, Ms Edwards said.
Duckworth insisted the money was not fraudulent and provided details for an ANZ account, to which she then transferred the money.
"The recklessness arises when she's told by the Westpac bank they couldn't accept the money because it is fraudulent," Ms Edwards said.
"She was aware at that time the money was fraudulent."
Ms Edwards said immediately afterwards, she told Duckworth she wanted nothing more to do with him and blocked him on Facebook.
Defence lawyer Tom Hallett told the court his client had been "groomed" in a "manipulative relationship".
"This is obviously a sad story," Mr Hallett said.
He told the court Netz's husband had died in 2016 after falling ill shortly after they married in 2006.
She was his full time carer and received a carer's pension until his death, after which she had no income and became temporarily homeless.
She was then placed in community housing in Burnie, shortly after which Duckworth contacted her on Facebook.
It is an enormous pity the real perpetrators cannot be caught.Justice Helen Wood
"As an older lady, widowed, she considered it a nice situation to be in," Mr Hallett said.
"She admits she was incredibly naive, but she was deceived."
Mr Hallett said Duckworth led her to believe he would move to Tasmania to be with her, and said some of the money was hers to spend.
Ms Edwards said she spent about $3000, and the remaining $12793 had not been recovered.
"She has been honest and forthcoming... she'd pled guilty an early stage," Mr Hallett said.
"She is very embarrassed by the situation."
The court heard those Netz assisted in the fraud would likely never be caught.
"It is an enormous pity the real perpetrators cannot be caught," Justice Helen Wood said.
Justice Wood told Netz there was no prospect she would be jailed, but needed some time to consider a compensation order sought by the Crown.
Sentencing was adjourned to Tuesday, November 3.