Benefit fraud

Comment of the Day

Union Jack commented last night in Back Chat:

Here is something which has been getting at me lately so I will throw it out there and see what you guys think.

Nearly every week we see someone up in court for benefit fraud and the end result always seems to be to pay back the amount stolen which is quite often $50 -$100000 at $20 a week out of your benefit which is basically saying keep it because you will never pay it.   Read more »

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Bludger rips taxpayers off for $300k and only gets 3 years

$100,000 per year in jail seems like a good deal.

It seems that if you’re going to steal from the taxpayer – go big!

A woman who ripped off taxpayers for more than $300,000 over 17 years would take 587 years to pay back the stolen funds.

Meivisi Taufa, 50, was jailed for three years after admitting 13 benefit-fraud charges and had been recently paying back $10 a week.At Auckland District Court this afternoon, Judge Grant Fraser said paying back the full sum was “well beyond your ability and your longevity” and ordered reparation of only $6000 – leaving taxpayers with a shortfall of about $295,000.

Taufa – who also goes by the names Mavis Taufa, Mavis Maumalangi, Mavis Maumalonga, Mavis Faleola, Mavis Manufekau, Mavis Lesaisaea, Meivisi Maumalangi, Meivisi Maumalonga, Meivisi Faleola, Meivisi Manufekau and Meivisi Lesaisaea – began applying for money she was not entitled to in 1996.By the end of 2012 she had submitted nearly 50 different documents containing false details, which kept the money rolling in.    Read more »

How are Sepuloni and Dotcom linked? NZ Herald manages

The benefit fraud case involving Beverly Sepuloni attracted attention for obvious reasons. She is the mother of Carmel Sepuloni, Labour’s social development spokeswoman.

The party’s leader, Andrew Little, appreciated the situation and stood the MP down from that role because of the possible perception of a conflict of interest.

So far, so standard. But a whole new slant was put on this media attention when Judge Chris Sygrove decided it was reason enough to reduce Sepuloni’s sentence by three months.

He noted that her case was unlike most benefit cases with which he dealt, which flew under the “press radar”.

As much is true, and both Sepuloni and her daughter have paid a price for that. Read more »

Will Angry Andy give Carmel Sepuloni’s welfare spokesperson job back?

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The fact that Carmel’s mum’s been convicted of benefit fraud is not relevant to Carmel.  Well, it shouldn’t be, if it wasn’t for the fact Angry Andy took some of her responsibilities away because it would be a conflict of interest. Read more »

Sepuloni admits to defrauding the taxpayer

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Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni’s mother has admitted to benefit fraud charges in the New Plymouth District Court today.

Beverley Anne Sepuloni appeared along with her partner Michael Charles Rangi and was charged with fraud worth almost $100,000, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Sepuloni faced 19 counts of fraud totalling $33, 856 while Rangi was charged with 4 counts totalling $62,351. Read more »

Little mishandling of wayward MPs gains no respect

via Stuff

via Stuff

Labour leader Andrew Little has been labelled “gutless” for standing down MP Carmel Sepuloni after her mother was charged with benefit fraud.

Mr Little was also defending another one of his MPs today, David Cunliffe, who was pulled over for talking on his cell-phone while driving.

[Carmel Sepuloni’s mum] Beverley Anne Sepuloni appeared in New Plymouth District Court today, facing 19 benefit fraud charges.

Her daughter is collateral damage – the frontbench Labour MP has been stripped of her shadow social development role by Mr Little.

National MP Judith Collins took to Twitter to criticise Little, saying: “Message to LabMPs is if anyone of your family’s in trouble, so are you. No leadership, no guts [sic].”

Read more »

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.

Read more »

It’s not beneficiary bashing when they are fraudsters

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Seems you can find fraudsters at both end of the wealth spectrum.  On the one hand, they are given residency and are allowed to run a political party.  On the other, they’ll get fined and may go to jail.

A joint operation between Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Social Development targets those that are found to be in work and earning income other than a benefit.

Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows told the Social Services committee that of the 6000 found to be illegitimately receiving the benefits over the past year, 95 have been prosecuted for fraud.

Overall, in 2012/13 there were 906 convictions for benefit fraud, totaling more than 32 million, Mr Borrows said.

906 people who are now qualified to move to another country and try and topple their prime minister, president or premier.

Who says we don’t train our people for the marketplace?

– RNZ

Stop stealing our money you scum!

Anna Turner at The Press delves into the murky depths of benefit fraud and finds an increasing number of NZ bennie ratbags are taking the piss

Nationwide, a total of 979 people were prosecuted for benefit fraud in the 2012-13 year.

The total value of the overpayments to people prosecuted was more than $32m, while the total value of new fraud debt established solely in the 2012-13 year was $26m.

Holsted said the ministry “did not tolerate benefit fraud”.

“The ministry works hard to protect the integrity of the system to ensure it remains fair for all New Zealanders,” she said.

“It is vital that the public has trust and confidence in the ministry to ensure people receive their correct entitlement and do not take advantage of the welfare system,” Holsted said.

The ministry has a team of 90 specialist fraud investigators throughout the country, as well as a special intelligence unit which identified emerging fraud and trends.

Fantastic.

As an aside, I can assure you the level of attention that befalls these reprobates far exceeds anything that the GCSB might inflict on two or three NZers per year.   Read more »

Cracking down on Welfare cheats

The government new measures to crackdown on welfare cheats take effect tomorrow.

New measures to crack down on beneficiaries who have previously cheated the system will begin tomorrow.

The ‘low trust client’ rules are aimed at preventing those with a history of benefit fraud from repeating the abuse.

It will apply to people who have been convicted of welfare fraud in the past or had overpayments established following a fraud investigation.  Read more »