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Tip-off sees woman convicted after lying to claim ACC

ACC media release

27 June 2013

Tip-off sees woman convicted after lying about relationship to claim ACC

A Pukekohe woman has been convicted of defrauding ACC after lying about her relationship status to receive $106,829.46 of ACC compensation payments.

Brenetta Hemi was convicted of one charge of dishonestly using documents and one charge of making a false statutory declaration under sections 228 and 111 of the Crimes Act 1961.

Hemi was sentenced by Judge Blackie in the Manukau District Court today to seven months, two weeks home detention and ordered to continue receiving counselling throughout this period and for the following six months.

Hemi’s former de facto partner died in June 2009 as a result of a workplace accident. In July 2009, ACC received an Advice of Accidental Death form from Ms Hemi stating that she had been in a de facto relationship and living with the deceased at the time of the accident.

Hemi also signed a declaration that the details given to ACC were correct, and on this basis ACC granted a one-off survivor’s grant of $5653.66 as well as weekly compensation for five years. In May 2010, Hemi accepted a lump sum payment of $77,711 in lieu of ongoing weekly compensation payments.

In July 2010 ACC received a tip-off from a member of the community alleging that Hemi had not lived with the deceased for over eight years. An investigation followed, establishing that Hemi had separated from him in 2004.

ACC’s General Manager of Claims Management, Sid Miller, says it is disappointing when people choose to abuse the ACC scheme for financial gain.

“We appreciate the support we get from people who alert us to possible wrongdoing.

“Kiwis pay ACC levies to help people with genuine injury-related needs – not so that people can misuse ACC for their own personal gain.

“ACC has an Investigations Unit which follows up all information we receive, to investigate where fraudulent activity may be involved and take appropriate action when criminal offending is identified.”


ENDS

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