1 Apr 2015

Church minister sentenced for donations fraud

11:06 am on 1 April 2015

An Auckland church minister has been sentenced to 11 months home detention and 400 hours of community work for tax fraud using church donations.

Pio Leatisolomua from the Satauro O Le Faaolataga Samoa PIC Church in Takanini stole nearly $340,000 by making false claims to Inland Revenue about people donating to his church.

He signed receipts for donations made to the church and used them to make tax credit claims and obtain tax refunds.

The IRD found taxpayers who had allegedly filed tax credit claim forms for donations had never attended the church, had no knowledge of the claims filed using their IRD numbers and never received the refunds issued.

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