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Financier Lazar faces committal hearing

AAP logoAAP 1/08/2016 Sophie Tarr

A woman whose mother died homeless after she was allegedly swindled out of her northern NSW property by an accused scammer says she thought the man was "some sort of Father Christmas" when he first contacted her.

Linda Hewitt told Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on Monday that Ian David Lazar, 45, had reached out after learning of her mother's financial struggles via the television program A Current Affair in 2003.

The television report detailed how the elderly Amy Hewitt, whom the court has previously heard was homeless when she died, had unsuccessfully sued Wingecarribee Shire Council and had been ordered to pay the council's legal bills.

Ms Hewitt said on Monday that Lazar had offered to help cover those costs, which amounted to about $50,000 to $60,000.

"He told me that he did this quite often," Ms Hewitt said.

"I asked him repeatedly if my mother would have to repay this and he said no."

She said under cross-examination that she believed Lazar was simply a wealthy and generous stranger who had been moved by her mother's story.

"You assumed he was some sort of Father Christmas who was going about giving people money to pay off their financial difficulties," Lazar's barrister Greg James QC asked on Monday.

"Yes," Ms Hewitt replied.

It is alleged Lazar fraudulently transferred ownership of Amy Hewitt's Nambucca Heads property to his company and that his deception was only uncovered when an official from the NSW Sheriff arrived at the woman's door and told her that the mortgage-holder had defaulted on the loan.

"My mother said `No, you've got the wrong house, I own this house. I purchased the house cash'," Ms Hewitt said on Monday.

"And the lady said `No, the name on the house is not yours. It's in someone else's name'."

Lazar has been charged with a string of dishonesty charges and intimidation allegations.

Among the offences he is accused of committing are larceny, stealing cattle and making a collusive agreement with a member of the NSW Police.

His committal hearing, held to test prosecution evidence and determine whether Lazar ought to face trial, has been set down for 10 days.

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