fraud

Guest Post: MSD ups efforts to detect sole parent benefit abuse

Lindsay Mitchell has been doing some digging  and come up with some interesting information regarding benefits and who should and shouldn’t be on them.

She has given me permission to repost her information in the interests of giving her a wider audience.

I have found the following information enlightening…especially as it appear to show that over 10% are abusing their benefit.


 

We all know that there are plenty of people pulling a single parent benefit who have partners. Anecdotal evidence aside, there are two data sources pointing to this.

One is the Growing up in NZ study, which I wrote about here but it gets quite complicated.

The second is simpler. It’s revealed in a passage from Child Poverty in New Zealand, by Simon Chapple and Jonathon Boston:

“Work undertaken at the Department of Labour and based on matching Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) and administrative welfare records indicated, firstly, that in 2011 about 10 per cent of people whose welfare records showed that they were receiving an unemployment benefit reported to the HLFS that they were actually in full-time employment (i.e., working at least thirty hours a week), and hence were ineligible for the benefit; secondly, that more than one-third of people on an unemployment benefit self-reported as not actively seeking work – and one in five expressed no intention to seek work in the coming year; and, thirdly, that about 10 per cent of people whose welfare records showed that they were receiving a DPB reported being partnered or living as married.”

(After an MBIE refusal to release the paper to me, the matter currently sits with the Ombudsman).

Back in October I blogged about a trial mentioned in the MSD Annual Report.

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Government clamping down on wrong sort of bludgers

The other day the DomPost ran a piece on corporate welfare.

I’ve only just now had time to blog about it.

Spongers and parasites the lot of them. While decent Kiwi battlers get stuck in and work hard to earn their keep, this bunch are always on the take for someone else’s tax dollars.

Government programmes are supposed to be there to help the less fortunate – a safety net for the needy. But there are always a few who think they can play the system and take the rest of us for mugs. Millions of dollars goes to waste on these buggers while kids go hungry. It’s a bloody disgrace.

Chalkie reckons it’s time we stopped pussyfooting around with these companies and gave them a short, sharp shock.

You want examples? Chalkie will give you examples.

Chalkie does give examples, loads of them and lots of detail in the piece but below is the conclusion.    Read more »

Bludgers be bludgers, this will make your blood boil

The woman who tried to buy a state house for a million dollars and then was busted for having a relationship when she claimed she wasn’t is in court trying to justify her bludging ways.

A woman, who was kicked out of a $1 million state house after offering to buy it, is fighting a $40,000 bill after allegations she was living there with an undisclosed partner.

Bella Bowden made headlines 14 months ago when Housing NZ gave her the boot despite her coming up with a near-seven-figure sum needed to buy the property in the upmarket Auckland suburb of Mission Bay.

After her offer, the corporation launched an investigation; sceptical of her story that whanau had come up with the funds with the help of a finance company.

Subsequently, they declined the offer and three charges of using a document for a pecuniary advantage were laid against Bowden, with Housing NZ alleging she lived in there with a partner — Greg McDonald — between 2010 and 2012.

Her income-related rent of $126 a week was cancelled and returned to market rent of $420, which she was unable to pay.

Soon after, Bowden was forced out of the two-bedroom Godden Cres house overlooking Rangitoto Island.

The defended hearing began in Auckland District Court today and Bowden, who represented herself, was adamant she lived alone for that period and was not in a de facto relationship with McDonald.

But the prosecution’s “key witness” Annette Baines — McDonald’s niece — said she had known them as a couple for at least 10 years, despite never having seen them living together.

“You’re partners. You know I know that, and sort of carrying on like this is a little bit embarrassing to be honest,” she said.

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Fairfax hypocrites enter native advertising scam as well

September seems to have been the month to launch the biggest scam in news yet.

Native advertising…the fancy word that editorial bosses use to describe advertising dressed up as articles to fool the punters.

Yesterday I blogged about the Herald hypocrites and today we can see Fairfax are at it too.

Ironically it is 2Degrees that is into this boots and all at Fairfax.

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A reader emails about Climate Change

I received this polite email about climate change yesterday.

Hi Cameron,

I have been a regular reader of your blog for a number of years, and while your attitude can be at times combative, I appreciate the straight-up, “no bullshit” approach you take to both your content and your readers, and your emphasis on facts over rhetoric is refreshing, particularly in an environment where many of your peers in the information industry cannot be relied on to get things right. Unfortunately, there’s one subject on which I feel you have failed to meet your own high standards. That subject is climate change.

I have no doubt that your position on climate change was based on what you believed to be legitimate information at the time you formed your current views, but I do think that it’s an area you have neglected to look at again after making up your mind, and continuing to promote this position without ensuring that it can be reconciled with the actual state of the planet is doing both yourself and your readers a disservice. Every time you publish a post along the lines of “colder than average / coldest event ever, therefore global warming is a con”, you’re ignoring the fact that climate change / global warming on a planetary scale doesn’t mean that every part of the planet is warmer 100% of the time, nor that the warming of Earth’s climate as a whole can actually cause cooling in some areas. You’re also ignoring a very large body of evidence that the planet is in fact warming considerably.

I would like to respectfully ask that you take another look at this issue, openly, and from a neutral perspective. If you still feel that the evidence supports your position after genuinely researching the topic, I will be very much surprised.

I am fully aware you are more than capable of doing your own research, and finding your own sources which you believe to be trustworthy. Noting how busy you are though, I would like to point you in the direction of one resource I feel you may find useful if you’re pressed for research time – Ramez Naam’s book “The Infinite Resource – The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet” (I am happy to purchase an ebook copy for you if that would be useful). If you do nothing else, please at least read chapter five of this book – it’ll point out more than a few holes in your current position. All conclusions drawn or facts provided are fully cited, with an extensive bibliography of sources should you wish to follow up further. I should also point out that the book’s style alternates positive / negative perspectives, so if you do not read any part of the book other than chapter five, you’re only seeing a part of what the author’s trying to get across.

I have every faith that you will act with integrity and have the courage to change your currently held beliefs on climate change once you are in possession of the relevant facts – I only ask that you are open enough to take another look.

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Looks like Dunedin City Council will have a use for those shackles after all…

Looks like Dunedin City Council will have a use for those shackles after all.

A fraud probe is looking into whether dozens of Dunedin City Council vehicles were sold over the past decade, and the proceeds pocketed.

Profits from the purchase and sale of Citifleet vehicles, allegedly amounting to more than $1 million, were being investigated, Stuff has been told.

Council chief executive Dr Sue Bidrose said last month that an investigation into the unit by accountancy firm Deloitte was under way after irregularities in the internal recording of council-owned vehicles was discovered.

In a blog to council staff, Bidrose indicated the council was looking at a major fraud inquiry that could dent ratepayer trust.

The council was bracing itself for the findings of the probe, which was expected to reflect negatively on its financial management, she said.

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Anonymous Labour donors are getting nervous

A lonely David Cunliffe waitsAndrew Geddis writes

… if you go back to the financial returns from political parties for 2007, there is listed a donation to Labour of $150,000 from “Palmer Theron, Solicitors, on behalf of an undisclosed client” (as well as two other donations of $50,000 and $30,000 from other law firms on behalf of similarly “undisclosed clients”). For balance, you might also note that in that year National reported $40,000 in anonymous donations, as well as $513,000 from three trusts that it had been using to launder donations previously. Read more »

Should convicted fraudsters be punished in proportion to their haul?

Fraudster Davis Ross’ laywer isn’t happy with “1 day of prison for every $60,000″ that his client took from his victim.  My gut feel is that it took his victims much more than a day to accumulate $60,000, so spending a day in jail for each $60,000 lot seems light.

Hamish McNicoll reports

There is “nothing useful” in the “stern” and “unreasonably crushing” minimum jail term imposed on David Ross, the fraudster’s lawyer says.

In November Ross, 64, was jailed for 10 years and 10 months for operating a fraudulent scheme in which private investors lost about $115 million. It was described as the single biggest fraud in New Zealand’s history

His company, Ross Asset Management, fleeced at least 700 investors through portfolios in which they thought they had more than $380m.

Ross’ appeal against the minimum non-parole period of five years and five months, half his full sentence, was heard in the High Court at Wellington this morning.

The sentence was equivalent to roughly one day for every $60,000 he stole from investors.

His lawyer, Gary Turkington, was appealing on the grounds it was “manifestly excessive”.

Today he questioned the point of such a lengthy minimum sentence, saying it was “just too much”.

Ross would be 68 by the time he was eligible for parole, though this was by no means a “get out of jail free card” in itself.

He would be “well into his twilight years,” Turkington said.

I suspect his victims had their “twilight years” completely ruined as well.  I truly don’t see why it is harsh to lock someone up for such an insidious crime that affected to many people, took so much security, peace of mind and happiness away.   Read more »

He’s got nuffink

So, after all the years of screaming that he had information from Edward Snowden that would bring down the government, after telling everyone via Twitter and his paid for mouthpieces that he’d been in touch with Snowden and had all the dirt…that he had helped Snowden get into Hong Kong (yeah he does claim that)…what he actually has is zip, nada, zilch, nuffink to quote Sergeant Schultz.

He is offering a US$5 million reward for someone, anyone, please, please, help poor Kimmy…come forward with information that gets him off the hook.  Read more »

Pedro comes good, lashes Dotcom’s purchase of two political parties

I'm coming to steal your democracy

I’m coming to steal your democracy

I honestly didn’t think Patrick Gower had it in him, his campaigning recently has been awful to watch, but yesterday he came good with an epic rant of the similar proportions to his rants previously about rorts and dodgy deals.

So kudos to Pedro…he has come good.

The Hone-Dotcom-Laila political triangle is one of the dirtiest deals in New Zealand political history.

It is as dirty as National-Act in Epsom.

It is as dirty as the Key-Dunne deal in Ohariu.

Frankly, Lalia HarrĂ© made me feel sick today when she said “it’s time for New Zealanders to take back MMP”.

That’s because Laila HarrĂ© is wrecking MMP.

Hone Harawira is wrecking MMP.

And Kim Dotcom is wrecking MMP.

They are using Harawira’s seat and MMP’s “coat-tail” rule to get a back-door entry into Parliament.

It is a rort.  Read more »