A Northland mother-of-three has been sentenced to home detention for ripping off the benefit system over a 15-year-period.
Sherie Apetera owes over $120,000 to the government.
The 35-year-old appeared in the Whangarei District Court today after earlier pleading guilty to 14 charges of benefit fraud which occurred from 1997 to 2012.
Judge Davis says she will spend a number of years, even decades, paying back the Ministry for lying about her living situation.
He says she deprived those families who do need the assistance, and stole from each and every legitimate taxpayer sitting in the public gallery.
Apetera will serve 12 months home detention.