A Hamilton man who set up a charity so he could claim tax rebates even wrote "thank you" letters to himself for his kind donations.

But truck driver Martin Pim wasn't only stealing money from the taxpayer for himself but also four other associates who made false charity donation claims.

While the fraud wasn't highbrow - Pim only pocketed $9520 over the five years' worth of tax credits - it was convoluted.

Pim told investigators he was appointed sole trustee by three other retiring trustees of the Whitiora Charitable Trust in 2005.


Three years later he registered the trust as a charity with the Charities Commission.

The supposed purpose of the trust was "relieving destitution and distress, advancing education and religion, providing recreational facilities for communities and promoting the interests of disadvantaged persons".

But the trust did none of that and instead Pim and his associates used the trust simply to file fake donations to a fake charity - but then received real tax credits.

The maximum donation for which a tax credit could be given was $2000. Pim filed fake donations in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Each year he received a refund of $630 - or $2520 in total.

In 2007 that increased to $21,000. In 2009, Pim took advantage of the increase and dutifully claimed to have made a donation of that size and received a tax credit of $7000.

A review of the trust bank account discovered that only $9838 of deposits were made in 2009.

One of those deposits, $4420, turned out to be rent from his tenant, an immigrant and co-worker of Pim. She said Pim told her to classify her rent payments as a donation to the trust so she could claim refunds each year.

The 69-year-old even wrote a receipt and signed a "thank you" letter on behalf of the trust - of which he was the sole trustee.


The following year, the tenant filed another $5348.80 worth of "donations", with Pim again signing a receipt on behalf of the trust.

In March 2012, the "donations" started coming not only from his tenant but also four associates to a total of $148,540.

Refunds for two of the tax credits - $60,740 and $85000 - were paid out by the IRD, totalling $26,443.30.

However, two others - $63,800 and $7750 filed in April of the same year - were held for review by the IRD following an audit. They were never paid.

The Charities Commission deregistered the trust in March 2012.

When questioned by IRD investigators, Pim said the trust had been set up to "allow recent immigrants to get established" and to make life better for people. However, he admitted that he himself was the charity.

He admitted being the signatory on the bank account and said an associate suggested the setting up of a charity trust was "better" than a family trust.

He said he allowed his associate to use the bank account in 2012 so he could "put some money through for tax purposes".

Pim claimed he had no idea what the deposited monies were used for by his associates and said his own tax credits were paid out to him by "mistake".

He claimed his associate had "implicated him in a fraud" and then destroyed all the trust accounts.

Pim, who is a former director of now removed companies Crikey Dick Investments Ltd and Cor Blimey Developments Ltd, was remanded on further bail when he pleaded guilty to nine charges in the Hamilton District Court today.

They include four of knowingly providing false information to enable another person to obtain fraudulent refunds, two representative charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage and three of aiding the dishonest use of a document.

He was remanded on further bail for sentencing in April.

Reports for an electronically-monitored sentence were also ordered by Judge Kim Saunders.