Benefit cheat sentenced
A Porirua man has been sentenced to five months’ home detention for claiming more than $ 47,000 in benefits he was not entitled to.
Joseph Huriwai appeared at the Porirua District Court last Tuesday and was convicted and sentenced by Judge Bill Hastings.
Ministry of Social Development prosecuting lawyer Anitesh Govind told the court Huriwai had paid a price for his offending and asked for an electronically monitored sentence.
From March 2005, Huriwai falsely stated his income when reapplying for his sickness benefit, leading to $47,395.77 in overpayments.
The judge said Huriwai’s was a ‘‘chronic and repetitive exhibit of dishonesty’’.
He said the system relied on honesty.
‘‘Every taxpayer in New Zealand is a victim of this offending.’’
In sentencing Huriwai, the judge gave a one month discount for illness – Huriwai was diagnosed with throat cancer when the offending took place.
‘‘Because you thought you were going to die you developed a reckless attitude to your life.’’
The judge said the home detention sentence was ‘‘ no soft option’’ and would allow Huriwai to continue paying reparations to the ministry.