The Beehive building

Home detention for wage subsidy fraud

08 August 2023.

A Hawera man has been sentenced to home detention for fraudulently claiming more than $50,000 in wage subsidy funds.

Logan James Cochrane appeared in the Hawera District Court on 14 November 2022 for sentencing on two charges of dishonestly using a document in connection with the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme and COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.

Between 27 March 2020 and 29 September 2020, Cochrane dishonestly submitted 34 applications to the Ministry of Social Development for wage subsidy and leave support payments.

The dishonest applications were all made using Cochrane’s personal bank account number and the details of a Taranaki company, without its authority.

He received a total of $50,378.80 for ten of these applications. The other 24, totalling $108,700.80, were all declined without payment.

Judge Tony Greig said a pre-sentence report showed Cochrane was gambling and using methamphetamine at the time, which explained his actions.

“It is said that you are disappointed in yourself that you resorted to dishonesty to fund your lifestyle.”

Cochrane was initially sentenced to six months’ home detention and ordered to repay $14,000 of the wage subsidy funds he received within 28 days. However, after failing to pay that reparation, he was resentenced and his home detention was increased to seven and a half months.