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Christchurch woman gets home detention for making false tax refund claims

A Christchurch solo parent will serve five months’ home detention for making false tax refund claims for 10 other taxpayers and pocketing the money.

Jessica Mona Campbell, 27, was convicted of 31 charges of using a document to make more than $60,000 in false claims. She received nearly $40,000 in refunds before the offending was detected.

Inland Revenue Investigations and Advice Group Manager Tony Morris said Campbell’s offending was similar to that of six other people throughout New Zealand, three of whom have already been prosecuted and have entered guilty pleas.

“Our investigators detected a pattern of very similar offending happening in different parts of the country, and their actions have successfully nipped this activity in the bud,” Mr Morris said.

Campbell had modified online personal tax summaries (PTSs) for a number of low income earners/beneficiaries over a six-month period in 2013.  The PTSs were false, creating fictitious income tax refunds that were diverted to bank accounts controlled by Campbell.

“Campbell selfishly thought she could cheat law-abiding taxpayers out of money that goes towards funding vital social services such as schools, hospitals and roads,” Mr Morris said.

“Fortunately our systems prevented her offending from escalating, and we’ll do all we can to recover the money that she defrauded from honest Kiwis.”

Campbell was also sentenced to 150 hours of community work and ordered to pay $5000 in reparation to Inland Revenue. She is not allowed to access a computer during her home detention.

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