Impersonator told to pay up

A man from the Western Highlands Province, who impersonated a deceased man to access funds for services rendered in the 2012 National General Elections, has been ordered to pay up half of the monies or serve 4 years in prison.

The Waigani National Court convicted and sentenced 47-year-old Ande Joseph to four years in jail for impersonating and misappropriating K61,000.

A man described by the courts as one with multiple identities, the father-of-seven impersonated his deceased uncle between June 2015 and January 2017, to access service providers’ payments from the 2012 National Elections.

Joseph Ande presented himself as Thomas Martin with intent to defraud Westpac Bank and the Electoral Commission.

He deposited two PNG Electoral Commission cheques for the sum of K41,000 and K20,000 into his account.

He opened an unlimited account also in the same name, and accessed the funds.

Ande later deposited another cheque of K121,000 however, attempts to withdraw the funds were unsuccessful after the bank discovered his false identity and referred him to police.

He stood trial at the Waigani National Court and was sentenced to four years in prison.

The court gave conditions to the businessman; three years jail time will be suspended if he pays half of the K61,000 before 4 March 2019.

Upon presentation of the receipt to the court, he is to pay in full the remaining K31,000 within 3 years at K1,000 per month to the Electoral Commission.

Ande will also do 600 hours’ community service. If he breaches any of the probation conditions, he will serve the default sentence of 3 years.

Sally Pokiton