Woman guilty of $108k benefit fraud

04:20, Aug 26 2014

A judge has found a Hamilton woman guilty of defrauding the Ministry of Social Development of more than $100,000. 

In a reserved decision, Judge David Ruth said he found Natasha Maree Blackburn, 39, guilty of 26 benefit fraud charges after a four day trial in the Hamilton District Court last month. 

Blackburn claimed she wasn't in a ''marriage-type'' relationship with David Tuck. But the Ministry successfully argued that Blackburn and Tuck were living in a Frankton house together at the time of the offending - between January 1, 2006 and May 5, 2013 - receiving a total $108,000. 

In convicting Blackburn, Judge Ruth told her to prepare herself for a jail sentence. 

She was remanded on bail for sentencing in September.

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Waikato Times