A 32-year-old New Plymouth caregiver forged a tenancy agreement to claim an extra $3800 through her domestic purposes benefit.
In the New Plymouth District Court this week, Renee Cherie O'Keeffe was released on a good behaviour bond after admitting one charge of using a forged document and four of dishonestly using a document.
She had applied for an accommodation supplement claiming she was paying $300 a week for her Spotswood home when she was paying $170.
O'Keeffe's lawyer Will Wright said O'Keeffe accepted she made a mistake. She was caring for an eight-year-old and was repaying the money through her benefit.
Judge David McKegg said O'Keeffe had fronted up to what she had done. It was an act of desperation "but it is a crime", the judge said.
O"Keeffe was convicted and sent off with an order to come up if called on. If she reoffended she would be re-sentenced on the fraud.
"You have got to stop the dishonesty," the judge said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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