24 May 2010

False invoices made for payment of illegal workers

8:39 pm on 24 May 2010

Hastings District Court has heard that false invoices totalling more than $270,000, were made out to a company to pay illegal horticultural workers in a single month in 2006.

Last week, four Hawke's Bay men pleaded guilty to conspiring to assist overstayers and ship-jumpers to live and work illegally in New Zealand.

Their plea came in the first few days of a trial due to last for more than six weeks. Three of them are directors of Contract Labour Services.

On Monday, Crown prosecutor Clayton Walker said the directors used false subcontractors to hide the use of illegal workers, none of whom were recorded on a payroll.

The court was told the company paid the illegal workers in cash, minus an amount equivalent to tax, which the four accused divided amongst themselves. The directors pocketed thousands of dollars which should have been paid to Inland Revenue

Mr Walker says over one seven-week period in 2006, Michael Porter, Miles Elliot, Dharminder Singh and his father Surjit Singh pocketed almost $16,000.

The men will be sentenced in July.