Bachelor contestant Danielle Le Gallais' $20,000 theft from taxpayers

By Amelia Wade

Danielle Le Gallais. Photo / Supplied
Danielle Le Gallais. Photo / Supplied

A convicted fraudster and "bachelorette" who hoped to steal Art Green's heart has admitted ripping off taxpayers for more than $20,000.

Danielle Le Gallais, a mother-of-two, pleaded guilty to receiving benefits which she wasn't entitled to from the Ministry of Social Development over three years until March 2014.

A year later, she appeared as a contestant on TV3's The Bachelor but hid her numerous convictions and jail sentence from the network.

In 2005 Le Gallais was sentenced to 18 months' jail for theft as a servant, which a judge described as planned, premeditated and consistent.

Her offending also includes misleading the Ministry of Social Development, driving offences, and Tenancy Tribunal cases involving thousands of dollars of rent arrears on two properties.

The Herald can now reveal the details of her benefit fraud charges after a judge denied her quest for permanent name suppression.

Le Gallais pleaded guilty to a representative charge of dishonestly using a document and a charge of obtaining by deception to receive benefits from the Ministry of Social Development to which she was not entitled, to a total amount of $20,953.

By the time she was sentenced on June 8 to two months community detention, Le Gallais had paid off the debt in full.

The reality show contestant had applied for permanent name suppression, arguing that publicity of the charges would cause "extreme hardship" to her and her family.

She told the court she struggled when she was the centre of "extensive media attention during the Bachelor show for her prior fraud convictions" which caused the family to relocate to Australia.

However, Le Gallais will have to return to live in New Zealand to complete her sentence of community detention.

High Court judge Justice Alisa Duffy supported the decision to decline permanent name suppression in the interests of open justice.

After the Herald revealed Le Gallais' jail sentence in March last year, a TV3 spokeswoman said the station was not aware of the offending and that the production company responsible for vetting contestants had failed to check Le Gallais' background.

A statement from Eyeworks said bachelorettes were required to declare any criminal convictions and Le Gallais did not.

Le Gallais declined to comment.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 25 Oct 2016 11:02:56 Processing Time: 946ms