IRD staffer admits fraud

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 11:33 15/11/2012

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An IRD employee has admitted creating fake passports, birth certificates, IRD numbers and application forms, gaining about $225,000 to spend on cars, gambling, groceries and electronics.

Anita Gail O'Connor, 59, of Ngaruawahia, today admitted 163 fraud-related charges that span a five-year period.

O'Connor, who was quietly spoken, this morning pled guilty to each charge as they were read out by Judge Brian Marshall today.

O'Connor worked for Inland Revenue Department in its child support area as a support officer from 1992 until she took voluntary redundancy in August 2009.

Court documents show her forgery began in January 2004 and money continued to be deposited into one account until November 22, 2010.

They only stopped because the IRD put a halt on the account.

IRD staff began to get suspicious after clients rang saying they had money deposited into accounts they didn't have.

She admitted corruptly using information obtained by her in her official capacity, in the names of various people, to obtain a child support refund and working for families tax credits and making false documents to obtain child support refunds.

O'Connor also admitted obtaining information on members of the public to obtain working for families tax credits, creating fake IRD number applications with intention to use them to obtain pecuniary advantage; using the IRD's computer system to get information to get child support refunds and working for families tax credits.

She also admitted taking passports from Victoria, New Zealand and Western Australia for pecuniary advantage; making false requests for clients to obtain child support refunds; making false child support refund requests to obtain pecuniary advantage and making false birth certificates to obtain working for families tax credits.

O'Connor obtained about $225,000, however the IRD is seeking $362,000 which includes interest and other penalties.

When spoken to by investigators, O'Connor said she started her offending due to intimidation by gang associates, paying them $100,000.

She also spent money on buying cars for herself and her daughter, vehicle expenses, gambling costs, purchases at Harvey Norman and groceries.

She admitted obtaining birth certificates from taxpayer applications sent to IRD and modified them using twink before giving them to two Chinese people to make further modifications.

O'Connor was remanded on bail to her home for sentencing in January.

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- Waikato Times

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