Buddle accused of benefit fraud
A Feilding woman accused of running a loan scam is yet to enter pleas to separate charges of benefit fraud.
Kerry Lynette Buddle, 33, appeared in the Palmerston North District Court today on three charges of dishonestly using a document, laid by the Ministry of Social Development.
Ministry prosecutor Pip Transom said the prosecution was a "relationship case", with Buddle accused of claiming about $35,000 benefit money to which she was not entitled.
This was Buddle's second court appearance on the matter, but duty lawyer Jock Turnbull said she could not yet enter pleas.
Buddle applied for legal aid last month but the agency responsible for assessing her claim had not mailed her documents she needed to establish her income and expenditure.
Buddle was now arranging to provide it with the required information, Mr Turnbull said.
"Surely it's in the interests of justice, not just the administration of justice, that she be given the opportunity to have her own [lawyer] and get some proper advice."
Judge Gerard Lynch was unimpressed. "Why should I muck around?... She's been mucking around not providing the information that's sought. I could still be doing this in two months' time."
But the judge eventually agreed to put the matter off for two weeks, with Buddle's bail continuing.
Court documents, in which Buddle's occupation is listed as "mother", allege that while living in Paraparaumu, she dishonestly filled out Work and Income review forms on October 31, 2010, and November 29, 2011.
She is also accused of dishonestly filling out a domestic purposes benefit form on January 6, 2011.
Buddle is a former Kapiti mortgage broker and is scheduled to face trial in Wellington next year on 27 fraud charges.
They related to her previous business, Get Smart Mortgages and Insurance, which she closed in 2010.
She is accused of persuading clients who had borrowed money to lend some to her, while others say loans were increased without her knowledge.
Buddle was declared bankrupt after the Kapiti business closed.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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