Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter

Caregiver's bizarre explanation for $274k fraud

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A caregiver who defrauded the benefit system of more than $274,000 over a 14-year period pleaded guilty today.

When investigators finally caught up with Beverley Anne Malzard, 54, she admitted failing to declare her employment.

But she offered up a bizarre explanation, saying she "believed that she was two separate people".

Christchurch District Court today heard Malzard was granted a Domestic Purposes Benefit in 1990.

She was later in receipt of a Community Wage Job Seeker Benefit, Sickness Benefit, and Unemployment Benefit.

When she got a job with NZ Care in 1997, she failed to tell the Department of Social Welfare and continued to receive the money.

From 1998 to 2011, Malzard was paid $151,000 that she wasn't entitled to, from Social Welfare and ACC.

From 2000 to August 2011, she received $123,500 assistance in paying rent for her Housing New Zealand Corporation house in Bryndwr, Christchurch.

She pleaded guilty in court today to 10 charges, including obtain by deception, fraudulently using a document, and misleading social welfare officers.

Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development are seeking reparation.

Judge David Holderness remanded Malzard on bail to a Kaiapoi address until she is sentenced on October 30.

- APNZ

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