Record benefit fraudster denied parole

SAME OLD STORY: Wayne Patterson.
SAME OLD STORY: Wayne Patterson.

The country's biggest benefit fraudster has been denied parole again.

Wayne Patterson, 54, is serving a prison sentence of nearly nine years for stealing $3.4 million in benefits by using 123 fake identities. His sentence ends in July 2015.

In a parole hearing on March 4, made public today, the parole board decided Patterson could not be trusted not to offend again if released early.

Patterson was caught in 2006, but he had invested his stolen funds wisely. Among the goods seized after his arrest was gold valued then at $967,564.

The Crown has recovered the $3.4m that was taken, but it has also spent the past seven years in a legal battle in Austria to recover Apple shares and cash that had increased in value to about $3m.

In making its decision, the board took into consideration a letter written by the Ministry of Social Development's chief executive, Brendan Boyle. 

In it, Boyle advised of Patterson's continued efforts to thwart the Ministry's attempts to recover the profits made from the investment of his stolen funds.

Patterson was continuing to lodge appeals against Austrian court orders for him to pay the money back.

"The Chief Executive expresses the view that this illustrates that Mr Patterson is still not prepared to acknowledge his offending and accept forfeiture as ordered by the Court."

Despite Patterson's successful completion of a medium intensity rehabilitation programme, the parole board agreed.

After a parole hearing in 2012, the board said he was an arrogant, egocentric man who saw "the life of a big-league parasitic fraudster as more rewarding than the drudgery of ordinary honest toil".

The Dominion Post