PHOTO: Real Estate Agent. FILE
According to STUFF a former real estate agent who claimed half a million dollars in expenses is serving home detention after a fraud conviction.
Pauline Michelle Mere Johnstone, who was sentenced last month, pleaded guilty to a representative charge of knowingly providing altered, false, incomplete, or misleading GST returns to obtain more than $45,000 she was not entitled to.
According to a statement from the Inland Revenue Department, Johnstone claimed expenses of $549,927.00 and reported income of $21,900.67 between 1 Oct 2016 and 31 January 2018. She received GST refunds of $45,105.16.
Johnstone was sentenced to five months home detention and ordered to pay $10,000 reparations.
Johnstone has worked as a real estate agent in Northland and Taranaki, and now appears to live in the Nelson region.
In 2015, she was hailed as a hero as she saved a baby’s life when it choked on a biscuit.
In 2019, she and her husband were subject to a Tenancy Tribunal ruling after their tenant claimed the landlord couple failed to make repairs on the house. The home was draughty, with broken windows and only one working power point. The Johnstones were ordered to pay $3120 to their tenant.
That same year, the couple were also subject to a tribunal ruling as tenants, ordered to pay $10,845 to their landlords for extensive damage and a number of missing items in the rental property.