A Christchurch property developer today admitted forging
invoices from tradesmen to lodge inflated earthquake
The 42-year-old, who has name suppression, was due to stand
trial on 21 charges relating to EQC (Earthquake Commission)
But the woman made surprise guilty pleas to two
representative "wrap up" charges ahead of a scheduled jury
trial at Christchurch District Court this morning.
The court heard how the defendant, director of a property
development firm, owned five properties in Christchurch.
During the magnitude 7.1 earthquake of September 4, 2010, two
properties she'd bought with her partner just months prior to
the quake suffered damage.
Three days after the devastating jolt, which sparked the
Canterbury earthquake sequence, she lodged an internet
insurance claim with EQC.
She got her partner to spend a day carrying out repairs to
the property, but claimed that he'd spent 10 days on the
work, a police summary of facts states.
She later constructed an invoice in the name of a builders
company and claimed $7250 for repairs.
An investigation found that the building company was a fake
and that some of the work claimed on the invoice never
A later invoice for repairs valued at $2855 was submitted,
but EQC inquiries found that the work claimed was "inflated
The other charge related to three properties she'd bought in
Invoices and receipts for repairs were later found to be
Today she pleaded guilty to a representative charge that
between September 7, 2010 and March 28, 2011, she made
various false documents with intention to use them to obtain
a pecuniary advantage.
She also admitted knowingly using forged documents as if they
Judge Stephen O'Driscoll discharged the jury, called for
pre-sentence reports and ordered that name suppression
continues until the nominal sentencing date of May 14 when an
argument for final name suppression will be made.
She still denies two tenancy agreement fraud charges, which
will be argued at a trial before Judge O'Driscoll alone