25 Jan 2011

Man avoids home detention over benefit fraud

7:47 pm on 25 January 2011

A man who forged a document and used it to continue accessing his mother's superannuation payments after she died has avoided a jail sentence.

Frank Cheung was sentenced in the Wellington District Court on Tuesday on three charges of using a document, along with the forgery charge.

Cheung did not tell the Ministry of Social Development when his mother died in 1996 and forged a bank form, resulting in her superannuation payments being paid into his account.

He was overpaid at least $150,000.

Cheung's lawyer said his client was now 70, had health problems and had sold his home to pay the full amount of reparation sought.

Judge Ian Mill accepted Cheung was remorseful, but said the fraud was long-standing.

He sentenced Cheung to seven months' home detention.