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The Serious Fraud Office has filed charges against a former Bay of Plenty lawyer for allegedly falsely claiming almost $450,000 from a legal support scheme funded by the Ministry of Justice.

Paulette Main faces 30 charges of obtaining by deception and two charges of obstructing a Serious Fraud Office investigation. 

The defendant appeared in Tauranga District Court today. She was remanded without plea. 

The SFO alleges that Ms Main submitted more than 1500 false claims to the Ministry of Justice’s Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS). 

This service funds eligible lawyers to give out-of-court advice in Care of Children Act disputes. 

Lawyers can claim a fixed fee from the Ministry of Justice for providing services under the FLAS. 

The defendant is next scheduled to appear on 3 August 2023. 


* This release has been amended to reflect that as at 10 July 2023 Ms Main does not hold a current practising certificate.