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Ministry condemns former staff member’s fraud

16 May 2006

Ministry condemns former staff member’s fraud

Ministry of Social Development Chief Executive Peter Hughes has condemned the actions of a former Work and Income case manager who abused his position of trust to defraud the Ministry.

Nguha Moses today pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to internal fraud charges.

“This was a sophisticated fraud of the benefit system involving a false identify and numerous forged documents to create a bogus beneficiary client,” said Peter Hughes.

“Moses paid a benefit to a fictitious client over five years and pocketed the money in a specially established bank account.

“Elements of the fraud are unique and its size at $102,000 makes it the largest internal fraud of the benefit system since the Ministry was established.

“The Ministry’s zero-tolerance policy on internal fraud means that in every case where staff fraud has been committed, that person will be dismissed, the case referred to police for prosecution and steps taken to recover all stolen money.

“The Ministry has dedicated significant resources in improving our data mining and detection systems to prevent and reduce internal fraud. In the last financial year more than 384,000 checks were completed.

“There has been a significant reduction of internal fraud within the Ministry in recent years with the number of cases in this financial year totalling nine compared with 18 cases in 2000/01. This is despite increased detection activity.

“Taxpayers can rest assured that we are continually evolving our systems to detect fraud. It not a question of if we catch internal fraudsters, rather it is a matter of when, said Peter Hughes.

ENDS

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