9 Feb 2013

Repayment of stolen money ordered

2:28 pm on 9 February 2013

A woman who took cash from people and falsely promised them jobs once they moved to New Zealand has been ordered to repay more than $70,000.

Uluata Ekuale pleaded guilty to charges of supplying false information to an immigration officer, obtaining by deception, and providing immigration advice without a licence.

She was sentenced on Friday to 10 months home detention and ordered to pay $70,630 to 16 people, many of them from Samoa.

Immigration New Zealand said Ekuale continued to illegally operate after being refused an immigration licence in June 2010.

Fraud and compliance manager Dean Blakemore said those who operate without a licence face severe consequences.