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Theft accused tells jury she negotiated

A jury hears that a woman accused of stealing $2 million from an elderly businessman was planning on marrying him.

In the witness box for the second day, Michelle Bouchard also revealed, before her finance went away, she had him sign a letter to say it was “ok” for her take advantage of a diamond sale at a jewelry store.

Questioned by her barrister, she said James Handford helped her pay off a mortgage on a property she owned at Ocean Club and he gave her $50,000 because her younger brother had fallen on hard times and found himself homeless.

She also confirmed she had her partner sign a letter before he went back to Australia, confirming she would be handling some of his business interests and would be withdrawing money from the joint account.

Included in the letter was also permission to buy jewelry at The Mansion for her 50th birthday because they were having a sale when he was away.

“I wanted to save him money,” she told the jury. “I was always trying to get him the best prices. You should have seen me negotiate with construction guys.”

Miss Bouchard denies 26 theft related charges.

About the author

Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy

Paul has worked for more than 20 years for regional and national newspapers in the UK covering some of the world’s biggest stories.

A multi-award winning journalist, Paul’s dream story is to find a dog that can play the piano. In the meantime he covers general news, produces, and hosts a weekly show about English football.

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