An Auckland man charged by the Serious Fraud Office for allegedly submitting false COVID-19 wage subsidy applications is now facing further fraud charges related to COVID relief funds and GST returns.
In August 2022, the SFO filed charges against Hun Min Im for allegedly attempting to claim $1.88 million under the wage subsidy scheme. He is alleged to have received just over $600,000.
The defendant, who appeared in Auckland District Court today, is now facing 53 further charges brought by the SFO related to false GST returns and his attempts to fraudulently claim from the Small Business Cashflow Scheme, COVID-19 Support Payments and Resurgence Support Payments. He also faces forgery charges related to documents submitted to the NZ Companies Office.
The total amount Mr Im is alleged to have fraudulently claimed is now over $2.3 million, of which he allegedly received $624,000. Mr Im now faces a total of 95 charges.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His next appearance is scheduled for 19 May 2023.
“This case was originally referred to the SFO by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) following its own initial investigations. Further work alerted us to possible fraudulent activity against other Government organisations, and we are grateful to Inland Revenue, Police and the Companies Office for their co-operation and support in our investigation. This was a great example of agencies working together to investigate potential abuse of public funds,” says SFO Director Karen Chang.