A man who spent 13 years taking $360,000 of taxpayer's money he wasn't entitled to does not have to pay back a cent.
In March, Mark Millin was sentenced to three years' jail and ordered to pay back the money he received from ACC.
A jury had found the 47-year-old guilty of fraudulently using a document and perverting the course of justice by getting a friend to lie on his behalf.
After Millin was injured on June 29, 1998, he claimed weekly compensation from the Accident Compensation Corporation. That form of compensation is based on a person's earnings at the time they were injured.
Millin told ACC he had been working for Craig Murphy Carpet Layers in Hastings when he suffered the injury and that he had been paid $975 for the week of June 22-28.
Based on that he was eligible for compensation and was paid $602.81 before tax per week from July 6, 1998.
When ACC reviewed Millin's case in mid-2010 it discovered he had not received $975 in the week June 22-28, that he had not been employed by Craig Murphy, and that the information he provided in 1998 was false.
The corporation alleged Millin was a friend of Mr Murphy and had just helped him out for two or three days.
Investigators spoke to Mr Murphy in January and March 2011 while reviewing Millin's entitlements.
Over that period Millin wrote to Mr Murphy and told him what to say at an upcoming ACC review hearing. He sent him a statement and told him to "write it out, date and sign it, read it 100 times, and burn the originals".
He urged Mr Murphy to say he had been paid $900 for the week in 1998 and provided a list of questions he might be asked. He also sent him a pre-paid telephone which he had to use if he was calling Millin.
Overall, Millin, who now lives in Northland, received $362,895 he was not entitled to between 1998 and 2011.
Millin appealed both his jail sentence and the $360,000 reparation he was ordered to pay ACC.
His lawyer Bill Calver argued that Millin was entitled to compensation and all he did was inflate the level of pay he had received. Mr Calver said his deception was between $5000 and $10,000.
A Court of Appeal decision released today, said the reparation was ''pointless'' and should not have been made.
Millin has not been able to work since 1998 and would likely receive a benefit once he was released from jail. He was in financial difficulty following his arrest with his house being sold in a mortgagee sale.
Justice Simon France acknowledged that Judge Tony Adeane did not have any information on Millin's equity at the time of sentencing.
Justice France quashed the reparation order but upheld his prison sentence.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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