A Masterton man who defrauded the government of almost $6000 has been convicted of wilful omission.
According to a summary of facts read in Masterton District Court, Teremoana Darrell Nootai, 23, was granted a sickness benefit in September 2009 and agreed to notify the Ministry of Social Development if he had a change in work situation.
In October 2011, Nootai started a job at Kiwi Recruitment Wairarapa and failed to advise the ministry. During the time he was working, he was overpaid almost $6000 in benefits and accommodation supplements.
Nootai was interviewed by the ministry in May and said he was aware of his obligations but had not advised of his change in circumstances because he was experiencing problems in getting paid his correct hours.
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Defence lawyer Peter Stevens said repayments were already being deducted from Nootai.
"They came to an agreement to take money directly from his wages," Mr Stevens said.
Judge Chris Tuohy said he would give Nootai a sentence "equivalent to stealing $6000 from the state" and sentenced him to 150 hours' community work. No reparation order was sought as the ministry is using its recovery powers under the Social Security Act 1964.