7 Sep 2008

Court rejects benefit fraudster's appeal bid

2:59 pm on 7 September 2008

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by New Zealand's biggest benefit fraudster for leave to appeal his eight-year jail sentence.

Wayne Thomas Patterson was jailed last year for using more than 100 identities to defraud the Ministry of Social Development of $3.4 million.

The Supreme Court decision released on Saturday describes Patterson's arguments, including that his sentence was excessive, as lacking substance.

The Court agreed with an earlier Court of Appeal ruling, saying eight years imprisonment cannot be described as excessive punishment for the biggest known benefit fraud committed in New Zealand.

It also says Patterson doesn't deserve any credit for the recovery of the proceeds, which was achieved despite his attempts to frustrate recovery.