A British pensioner couple who want their son to be deported after he fleeced them of tens of thousands of dollars have received a lifeline from their bank.
Jill and Tony Lewis said they did not want to want to see their son Russell ever again after he betrayed their trust, broke into their home, stole their credit card information, and drained all bank accounts.
‘Please deport my son, because I’ve had enough…I never want to see him again,’ Mr Lewis pleaded on A Current Affair.
Commonwealth Bank initially refused to cancel the outstanding debt, despite their son being convicted of fraud – saying they believed the elderly couple were in on the scam.
Days after the pensioners’ plight came to light, Commonwealth Bank made a ‘goodwill payment’ to help the couple.
‘Please deport my son, because I’ve had enough… I never want to see him again,’ Mr Lewis pleaded on air
Mrs Lewis broke down pleading for the government to deport her son saying she could not believe he would do something like that
Russell (pictured) robbed his parents’s home and drained their bank accounts while they were away
‘We are sorry for the difficult situation Mr and Mrs Lewis have faced as victims of a crime. It is our intent to help Mr and Mrs Lewis by making a goodwill payment in relation to the fraudulent transactions.’
Mr Lewis said the payment was ‘mindblowing’, and it will allow the couple to finish building their house.
Mrs Lewis broke down as she recalled the moment the couple realised Russell had left them penniless and had also stolen televisions, a four-wheeler, and a portable air conditioner from their house.
‘Please deport Russell because I don’t want to see him again.’
Tony and Jill Lewis moved to Australia from England in 1985 with their 10-year-old-son Russell, Nine News reported.
Mr and Ms Lewis, who expected to be retired by now, are now borrowing money to pay their rent while looking after Russell’s six-year-old daughter.
Russell was convicted of fraud. Firearms were also found in his house when police investigated the break in and account draining.
He was sentenced to 3.5 years’ jail in Sydney’s Long Bay prison, and will remain behind bars until 2020.
Mr and Mrs Lewis said they were forced to sell their home and their business after the theft five years ago.
The couple told A Current Affair in 2013 they were headed back to their native Britain for a holiday and had informed the Commonwealth Bank their accounts would remain idle.
Before they had even reached the UK, the pair said Russell broke into and robbed their home.
Commonwealth Bank had initially refused to cancel the outstanding debt despite their son being convicted of fraud
Mr and Mrs Lewis did not know they had been robbed by their son until they came back from their holiday and a bank teller alerted them.
The couple claim the Commonwealth Bank initially accused Mr Lewis of being a part of the scam in collusion with Russell.
Pete Steel, executive general manger of digital at the Commonwealth Bank, told Daily Mail Australia they were sorry for the situation and they have commenced a review to fully understand the problem.
‘We are very sorry for the situation involving Mr and Mrs Lewis. We know that events involving fraud can be complex and very difficult for customers,’ he said.
‘We want to remind all our customers to never keep a record of a PIN, password or other code in a location where, if a thief finds a card or code, they will also find the record of the PIN or password.’
Mr Lewis said the payment was ‘mindblowing’, and it will allow the couple to finish building their house