Elsdon woman took benefit while working
An Elsdon woman was overpaid more than $20,000 as a result of working two jobs while on the benefit.
Tafaoga Faleesea Joanne Mihi Sopoaga, 25, pleaded guilty to charges of wilful omission, providing a false statement and using a document, when she appeared in Porirua District court last week.
Lawyer for the Ministry of Social Development, Caleb Bridgeman, said that in an interview in December, Sopoaga had said she knew what she did was wrong, but was desperate.
She was granted a domestic purposes benefit on October 13, 2008.
She began working for Care Direct in 2011 and Barkers Clothing in 2012, but did not let Work and Income know.
She is still employed by the two companies.
In July 2012, Sopoaga started work at Espresso Car Wash and was granted a Transition to Work grant to assist with starting. She stated she was not receiving any other income.
After finishing work at the car wash, Sopoaga re-applied for the domestic purpose benefit and was granted it from September 8, 2012.
She stated she earned $2286 in six weeks from the car wash, but failed to reveal she had also earned $2602.79 from her two other jobs.
Sopoaga stopped her benefit on October 4, 2013, after her relationship status changed.
Between October 13, 2008, and October 4, 2013, Sopoaga was overpaid $22,880.01.
Judge John Walker convicted her and she was remanded until June 24.