Story: Dishonesty crime

Benefit fraudster

Benefit fraudster

In 2006 Wayne Patterson was exposed as the biggest benefit fraudster in New Zealand history when a Kiwibank worker noticed that one email connection was accessing many pensioners' accounts. In his late 40s, Patterson disguised himself as an elderly man, and stole $3.4 million from the Ministry of Social Development through 123 false identities from 2003 to 2006. He invested the money offshore, and if all of it were to be recovered the profit to the Ministry from his prudent investments would be $467,000. He was sentenced to eight years in jail in 2007.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Dishonesty crime - Fraud', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 April 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 2 Nov 2018 with assistance from Greg Newbold