Insurance fraud punishment ends before wedding
He may have admitted trying to defraud his insurance company after the Canterbury earthquakes, but a Pahiatua man will still be able to leave the country to get married in India.
Nadeem Khan, 28, who owns Red Chillies Indian Cuisine in Pahiatua, was sentenced yesterday in the Palmerston North District Court on two charges of fraud.
The charges related to his former restaurant, Two Fat Indians, which was destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake.
He made a claim to his insurance company, QBE Insurance, which initially paid out $128,000.
Khan was then to give invoices for work done on Two Fat Indians, which would be reimbursed, but QBE became concerned with some of the claims and decided to investigate.
One fraud charge came after Khan said he had purchased a heat pump, stereo system and lighting with a combined value of $15,800.
He later admitted to the investigators he had not purchased any of those products.
The second fraud charge stemmed from a quote Khan was given from Southern Hospitality for restaurant equipment.
He changed the title of the quote from "quotation for equipment" to "for equipment", the quote number, the date from 2012 to 2010, and the total price - from $98,200 to $85,700.
He also paid $85,700 to Southern Hospitality in two instalments, both times asking for the money to be refunded because it had been paid in error.
In court yesterday, defence lawyer Phillip Drummond said Khan had not benefited financially from the deception.
He had contributed to the Pahiatua community during his time there, with multiple people writing character references.
Mr Drummond said his client hoped any sentence would still allow him to leave the country in February next year, so he could get married in India.
Judge David Smith said if Khan had not tried to rush getting money out of his insurance company, he may not have been charged.
"It put in jeopardy all the funds recovered under your insurance policy.
"It is absolutely imperative that when people are making claims on their insurance policy that they are . . . honest."
Khan was sentenced to a total of four months' community detention - finishing on February 8, two days before he was to fly to India - a $650 fine and 80 hours of community work.
Police have opposed Khan's application to renew his liquor licence for Red Chillies, with a hearing date yet to be set.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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