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Guilty plea in $118,000 deception case

Wednesday 25 January 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Court, National

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Guilty plea in $118,000 deception case
A woman has entered a guilty plea to obtaining by deception in a $118,000 case involving the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development.

A woman has entered a guilty plea to obtaining by deception in a $118,000 case involving the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development.

A jury trial had been scheduled for November but had been postponed after there had been a change in counsel and a late plea.

Sharon Samuel, charged with forgery and conspiracy to defraud, appeared alongside Vincent Ahiao, charged with conspiracy to defraud, at the High Court in Avarua on Friday.

Crown lawyer Jamie Crawford said the trial was adjourned late last year as a result of a late plea.

There had been some amendments and Crawford said she had been in discussions about resolution.

Samuel entered a guilty plea to of taking by deception.

The court heard between June 2011 and December 2016 she obtained $118,000 from the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development.

Chief Justice Patrick Keane said a pre-sentence report would be required.

There had been cash raised in mitigation and Crawford said she was happy to defer the probation report.

Reparation would be discussed in the victim impact statement.

CJ Kean convicted Samuel and remanded the matter to February 24.

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