Kiwi Olympian Liza Hunter-Galvan indicted for welfare fraud

Liza Hunter-Galvan was banned for two years for taking performance enhancing drugs in 2009.
Liza Hunter-Galvan was banned for two years for taking performance enhancing drugs in 2009. Photo credit: Photosport

Former New Zealand Olympic athlete Liza Hunter-Galvan has been indicted for welfare fraud in San Antonio, Texas.

The former marathon runner represented New Zealand at the 2004 and 2008 games, and was banned for two years for taking performance enhancing drugs in 2009.

San Antonio's News 4 is reporting the state of Texas alleged Hunter-Galvan unlawfully received NZ$89,000 in welfare benefits from 2012 for four years while making a substantial income and owning a 3700 square-foot house.

An investigator also claims Hunter-Galvan deposited more than $831,000 into multiple accounts during that period

"The allegations were welfare fraud, so basically she is collecting, the individual, the defendant was collecting money when there were other streams of income," Bexar County District Attorney Nico LaHood told News 4.

Hunter-Galvan has reached an agreement with LaHood for her to pay $13,866 in restitution with the District Attorney citing a lack of evidence as to why she didn't have to pay the full amount.

"Well you have restitution hearings and even though you want to get every penny back to taxpayers you have to prove it," LaHood told News 4.

"Unfortunately the investigation wasn't the way we wanted it, I mean we work with our law enforcement partners, I am not trying to be disrespectful to any of them but in this case, there were key pieces of evidence that were not kept, they were not preserved and that's important for us to move forward."

Newshub.