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Auckland man jailed over $13k Covid relief fraud

By and is republished with permission.

An Auckland man who fraudulently received $13,600 in Covid-19 relief has been jailed for 20 months.

Jason Laurence Gray made two applications for loans, seeking $27,000, under the Small Business Cashflow Loan (SBCL) scheme despite knowing a business he was part of didn’t meet loan criteria.

The applications were made within a week of each other in June 2020.

The scheme, implemented under urgency in May 2020, used a “high trust” application model so small businesses could access funds quickly during the pandemic.

Gray checked nearly 40 times how the first application was progressing, Inland Revenue said.

Inland Revenue began investigating Gray, and all the SBCL loans associated with him, when it found out one of his bank accounts was used to receive loan money on behalf of an associate.

Appearing in the Pukekohe District Court today, Gray was sentenced on two charges laid by Inland Revenue; as well as a police charge of using forged documents; and a Corrections charge of breaching home detention.