Two charged over alleged $375,000 benefit fraud

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Two people will appear in court in Auckland tomorrow charged over a benefit fraud involving up to $375,000.

The 48-year-old man and 51-year-old woman were arrested in Papatoetoe after a joint investigation by police and the Ministry of Social Development dubbed Operation Novocaine.

It's alleged the scam involved beneficiaries falsely claiming for emergency dental treatment. The duo are accused of taking a 25 per cent cut of each payment.

Associate Social Development Chester Borrows said the Crown alleged the vast majority of the payments were benefit advances and the recipients were mostly repaying them.

Those charged will appear before Manukau District Court.

The Ministry of Social Development has changed its payment processes and such a scam would fail to meet the new standards, Mr Borrows said.


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