18 Nov 2013

Woman acquitted of immigration fraud charges

12:06 pm on 18 November 2013

A Wellington businesswoman has been acquitted of 12 charges accusing her of immigration fraud and failing to pay two women in her employ.

The woman, whose name was permanently suppressed, was on trial before Judge Peter Hobbs in the Wellington District Court.

The Crown said she brought two Fijian women to New Zealand to look after her children.

The women gave evidence they worked 24 hours a day and the Crown said they were exploited and not properly paid.

In his Judgment, Judge Peter Hobbs says the women ate with the family, went on numerous trips with the family and there was no restriction on their liberty, or denial of necessities such as food.

While he had a sense of disquiet about some of the accused's activities and the manner she dealt with the women, he said he is left with reasonable doubt about the Crown case and must acquit her on all charges.