A Pleasant Point man who failed to return from an Australian holiday was overpaid $31,000 in sickness benefits.
Grant Turner, 60, pleaded guilty in the Timaru District Court yesterday to a charge of wilful omission and two charges of dishonest use of a document.
On July 1, 2010, Turner applied for a sickness benefit.
He agreed to advise the Ministry of Social Development if his circumstances changed.
In January 2011 Turner rang the ministry to say he was going to Australia but would return on March 11, 2011.
Turner did not return but continued to submit documents which stated he still lived in New Zealand.
As a result he was overpaid $31,512. He had since returned and was remanded on bail to March 27 for sentencing with the condition he surrender his passport.
- © Fairfax NZ News