Inland Revenue loses evidence in jail fraud case, leading to deletions

The loss of a USB drive full of evidence collected by Inland Revenue has led to a series of redactions in the case of a man accused of fraud while serving a prison sentence.

The deletions mean that neither the man nor the precise details of his prison sentence can be identified.

The man appeared in Wellington District Court via audio-visual link on Friday, after the IRD requested the deletion of the contents of the USB drive, which they had lost in transit between two offices.

He did not object to the deletion – which is the last until the end of the matter.

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The man has already pleaded not guilty to 19 charges of dishonestly using tax returns and other documents.

Judge Jan Kelly said the IRD wanted the removal due to fears the USB key could be found by a member of the public and accessed.

She said there would be a risk to the rights to a fair trial of the man if the information was published.

The judge ordered that no copies or excerpts could be released until the end of the man’s trial.

The man has been remanded until July for a hearing to have his personal name removed.

Sallie R. Loera