Fraudster Joanne Harrison pleads guilty to MSD con

Convicted fraudster Joanne Harrison has added the Ministry of Social Development to the list of organisations and people she has ripped off.

The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to benefit fraud on Tuesday morning, totalling $6500.

Harrison is already serving a three-and-a-half-year jail, a sentence she was handed in February when she was found to have defrauded the Ministry of Transport of $725,000.

She was sacked for that offence in July last year, when she was discovered to have been using invoices to pay entities linked to her own name.

For the most recent offence, Kaikohe District Court Judge Greg Davis said Harrison misrepresented her income to the Ministry so she could claim benefits she was not entitled to. In one case, she falsified a payslip from the Department of Corrections.

"This is not about a faceless victim, it is every legitimate taxpayer and citizen of this country," said Justice Davis.

Harrison also faced previous convictions for similar offending in July 2007, and was sentenced to undertake 300 hours of community work in relation to fraud charges. She was, however, able to get employment in 2011 with the Ministry of Transport.

Harrison will be sentenced for her benefit fraud on December 6.