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Impersonating friends and family leads to home detention

An Auckland mother of six, who impersonated friends and family to get working for family and child support payments, has been sentenced to home detention.

Olivia Motufau was sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 2 May on eight representative charges of providing false information to Inland Revenue to get nearly $190,000 dollars she was not entitled to.

Motufau came to New Zealand first when she was five, returned to Samoa to live when she was 20 and then returned to New Zealand when she was 29.

She impersonated 15 friends and family members, who were no longer living in New Zealand, so she could access their myIR accounts and get Working for Families Tax Credits, income tax refunds, child support payments and non-custodial parent refunds.

Motufau called Inland Revenue 66 times over a six year period, accessed myIR accounts at least 311 times, and changed bank account details for them to her own accounts.

She was interviewed under caution and played recordings of calls to Inland Revenue, admitting it was her voice in the calls pretending to be friends and family members.

In total, she got $186,048.15 over a six year period from 2014 until 2020.

The sentencing judge agreed with IR that accessing other people’s IR accounts was a gross breach of privacy.

Last updated: 08 May 2023
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