She was the clairvoyant who allegedly “conned” a $19 million Lotto winner - and now others have emerged with allegations of money owed and her entanglement in their financial affairs.
Kim Helmbright created an aura of trust among those she befriended.
She was tracked by the Herald on Sunday to a backpackers in Kerikeri where she is living after being evicted from a Northland home with expansive ocean views. She denied any wrongdoing but conceded she did owe money to some people.
An investigation last year revealed how Helmbright became a key figure in Lotto winner Mark Lipsham’s life after his big win sent him into a spiral of despondency.
Lipsham told the Herald on Sunday Helmbright became entangled in his life as a life counsellor, financial consultant and spiritual adviser. The end came after he transferred $2.8m to her to buy houses on his behalf and then found the properties were registered in her name.
Two years of legal action followed until the properties were transferred to Lipsham in June 2022.
Now, a Herald on Sunday investigation can reveal Helmbright’s movements before and after she met Lipsham.
Not long after she met him, with nowhere to live and animals needing paddocks, Helmbright walked into the life and home of Roxy Mack, a reiki and contact-care practitioner.
Mack owns a large Cooper’s Beach home with grazing land and views across Doubtless Bay.
Roxy Mack at her home in Cable Bay, Northland, that she rented to clairvoyant Kim Helmbright. Photo / David Fisher
Mack told the Herald on Sunday that Helmsbright initially wanted grazing land for animals but was soon talking of investments off-shore and a desire to buy her house.
In a signed statement for the Tenancy Tribunal Mack claimed Helmbright incorporated her connection to Lipsham as her story about why she couldn’t access large pools of wealth she claimed existed off-shore.
“She would disclose figures like $300,000 here (and) $400,000 there and that she owned at least 15 properties including apartments in the Gold Coast” amid talk of “crypto finances, large dollars values and large assets”.
Mack claimed Helmbright was “always talking about her financial agents, Chinese offshore money and that IRD was fully aware of everything and trying to help her clear her name”.
She said those “IRD issues” related to Lipsham and was the reason she couldn’t access the money.
Mack had Googled Helmbright and read the Herald on Sunday’s story about Lipsham’s entanglement with the clairvoyant.
Helmbright’s insistence there was “another side to the story” and paying $2000 upfront for the grazing land gave her confidence to welcome her as a tenant into her four-bedroom home on the property. Mack lived in a separate dwelling on the property.
Helmbright moved in October 2022, agreeing to pay $800 a week in rent until she bought the property.
“Kim always maintained, and it never changed, that she was buying the property, she always said she had offshore money, money agents. There were many times I was in her company and she was on the phone to her agent and discussing the purchase price for the property,” claimed Mack in a sworn statement for an upcoming Tenancy Tribunal case.
The last rent payment came on March 25, 2023. In April, Helmbright went to Australia and - aside from a grazing payment of $2400 on May 1 - by mid-May communication stopped, Mack said. Helmbright’s adult sons, Caleb and Nathan, continued living in the house, as did Helmbright when she returned from Australia in June.
At that point, with rent owed of around $8800, an eviction notice was served in May and Helmbright moved out in July.
Mack said she was devastated about how the relationship collapsed, having felt Helmbright and her sons “took me in as part of their family”. That included hosting a birthday party for her in the rented house.
As with Lipsham, Helmbright provided spiritual counselling for Mack who referred her reiki clients to the clairvoyant. “We were close - or so I thought.”
Mark Lipsham was a 2017 Lotto Powerball winner and, after a rollercoaster experience with his new wealth, is now in a settled space. Photo / Mike Scott
“I’ve been on a horrific rollercoaster … to the point I had to seek medical assistance.”
Prior to meeting Lipsham in October 2019, Helmbright was living in Warkworth where she met Aileen Smith.
Mack said, in her opinion, “I was her victim just before Mark that won the Lotto. She started ghosting me when he came on the scene.”
Smith said Helmbright had been working at a supermarket in the town when they struck up a friendship after she sought one of the clairvoyant’s readings.
The friendship led to Smith offering rent-free space in her shop for Helmbright’s $130, 90-minute clairvoyant readings.
Smith said she was “booked out” throughout the day and “booked out for weeks”. Reviews included one woman saying it was “the most amazing experience of my life” and “Kim helped me understand my past and answer questions I have always wanted to know”.
Another satisfied client thanked Helmbright for an “insight to the other side of the veil”.
Smith said she believed she was close to Helmbright who once told her: “You’re one of the family.”
Roxy Mack with Saint at the Northland house she rented to clairvoyant Kim Helmbright. Photo / David Fisher
She said Helmbright also told her about an “investment opportunity” that would “double my money”. Smith said she trusted Helmbright to invest the money and return it with a profit.
Smith said she paid $7000 but “got no documentation”. “When I threatened to go to the police she actually paid $2000 back but she still owes me $5000.
“I work really hard for what I have. Why should she have $5000 of my hard-earned money? We haven’t won Lotto. We work hard for every single thing we have.”
In the background of Helmbright’s recent financial entanglements was her connection to Herluf Jensen, known as Harry, an Opotiki farmer who sold his dairy farm for $3.2m in 2004 around the time Helmbright came into his life.
Documents show he cleared about $1.8m in 2004 when the farm was sold. His brother, John, alleged there was about $300,000 left when she was no longer a part of Harry Jensen’s trust in 2010.
John Jensen said Helmbright had been renting nearby when she met his brother. “I knew he wanted to marry her but it never went any further,” he said. Helmbright denies the pair were in a relationship.
Documents show Helmbright became enmeshed in Harry’s financial and legal affairs from at least 2004 until 2010.
Property records show Herluf Jensen added Helmbright as an owner of his $3m dairy farm in 2004, along with his nephew Stephen, John Jensen’s son. Property records also show Helmbright was added in 2007 as an owner of a house owned by Herluf Jensen in Opotiki.
Harry Jensen, who placed clairvoyant Kim Helmbright on his family trust. Photo / Supplied
John Jensen said his brother became increasingly unwell after the sale of the farm. Minutes from a 2007 meeting of the Herluf Jensen Farm Trust, provided by John Jensen, show Harry Jensen and Helmbright met with the trust’s lawyer to arrange $100,000 to be paid out for his healthcare and other needs.
The minutes record Helmbright saying Harry was “very unwell” and “heavily medicated” “having had major surgery and a subsequent fall”. The documents also show there was discussion about drawing down cash for Harry’s family but it was decided “neither were in any particular need of money”.
Property records show in 2009, a mortgage was secured on the house co-owned by Helmbright and Harry in Opotiki. The lending document gives as an address a property owned by Helmbright, also in Opotiki. A document in 2010 showed the money was “advances made to Kim Helmbright” and another said the mortgage was secured in her part-ownership of the property.
In December 2010, Harry had sought out Opotiki lawyer Ian Petersen and Edgecumbe accountant Jenny Chapman to make changes that distanced Helmbright from his affairs. Dated December 21, 2010, it showed Helmbright was to have been removed from her position as Power of Attorney for “personal care and welfare, property and general matters”.
The document also showed Helmbright was to be removed as a trustee of the Herluf Jensen Farm Trust. She was also to be removed as trustee of a separate Herluf Jensen Trust.
Harry died in 2017, aged 78. John Jensen said Helmbright did not go to his funeral.
John said his brother’s financial affairs and Helmbright’s had been entangled for years. “He couldn’t say no to her. I was brassed off. It’s his money and I guess he can do whatever he likes with it. When he died, there was nothing left.”
When the Herald on Sunday tracked Helmbright, she said the paper should run a story asking: “Does Kim Helmbright owe money?”
“Open it up. It’ll be a better story,” she said. “Just run a story.”
Asked if she conducted her affairs in an “honest and reasonable way”, she said: “That would be an open-ended question. You do what you do.”
Mark Lipsham as a truck driver prior to winning Lotto. Photo / Supplied
Asked about Harry Jensen, Helmbright claimed: “I wasn’t the only one who personally benefited from that.” Asked how much she benefited, she said: “I wouldn’t actually know off the top of my head.”
Helmbright said she was not in a romantic relationship with him. “Harry wanted to marry everybody,” she said. “Where was his family?” she asked.
On the Warkworth issue, she said, “I’m not going to answer anything with Aileen. I think it’s good Aileen has a good talk about this.”
On Roxy Mack, she said she did stop paying rent to her and continued living at the property. She said the Tenancy Tribunal case would show she had a counter-claim relating to the rental agreement.
She conceded she owed Mack money. “No beef with that. I don’t want to mediate. I want it to go straight to the tribunal. I don’t mind copping s*** that I’ve done.”
On Lipsham, Helmbright said she was bound by an agreement of confidentiality after a settlement was reached. She said: “I wish Mark really well.”
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