Whats new

Wayne Patterson's sorry life

12 October 2007.

As multiple benefit fraudster Wayne Patterson begins the first night of his latest jail sentence, Ministry of Social Development Chief Executive Peter Hughes questions whether Patterson now thinks it was all worth it. "His latest prison sentence comes after a continual chain of offending spanning more than 25 years. He has served jail time in New Zealand, Australia and the United States on a raft of fraud and burglary charges." said Peter Hughes.

12 October 2007
For Immediate Release

As multiple benefit fraudster Wayne Patterson begins the first night of his latest jail sentence, Ministry of Social Development Chief Executive Peter Hughes questions whether Patterson now thinks it was all worth it.

"He is a 48 year old loner who has chosen to use his considerable intelligence on fraud schemes that have ultimately failed," said Peter Hughes.

"Having already been sentenced to more than 20 years in prison in three countries, Patterson begins his latest jail term with the dubious distinction of being caught for perpetrating both New Zealand and Australia's largest benefit frauds.

"His latest prison sentence comes after a continual chain of offending spanning more than 25 years. He has served jail time in New Zealand, Australia and the United States on a raft of fraud and burglary charges.

"His has been a life characterised by failure as he has sought to get rich at the expense of others.

"At the height of his latest offending Patterson was collecting $56,000 a fortnight of taxpayers' money yet his chief pleasures appear to be tropical fish and gardening.

"With no friends, in a rented unit fortressed by high tech security, his primary contact with the outside world was via internet chat-rooms.

"It was more than a fulltime job creating and maintaining 123 unique identities over three years, travelling the length of the country to apply in disguise for benefits. Most weekends were spent driving around ATMs to withdraw the money.

"Getting each fortnight more money than many people earn in a year, Patterson hoarded the cash and lived a lonely life few would envy, said Peter Hughes.

"Two years into this fraud, with more money than he knew what to do with, Patterson began dealing in gold to launder the cash in an attempt to conceal assets in foreign companies and bank accounts," said Peter Hughes.

In total, Patterson defrauded the Ministry of $3.4 million.