Ben­e­fit cheat sentenced

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.

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