US man on sex charges allowed to work in NZ
A US man accused of a child sex offence in his home country has been allowed to work for a New Zealand district health board. Max Mehta, 45, managed to get past the immigration authorities and provide work checks to his employer after changing his name to Robert Taylor.
In May 2004 Mehta was convicted of grooming a deaf girl in an online chat room. The 15-year old was actually a police officer and when Mehta arrived at what he presumed was her house he was placed under arrest.
According to a report in The Guardian Mehta skipped his $125,000 bail and was able to flee the US for New Zealand before his trial in 2005. Because there was no conviction he was able to pass checks made by immigration, the police and his place of work.
Mehta was accepted for New Zealand citizenship in 2008 and in 2009 went to work in Australia as a radiologist on a Transtasman visa. Although Mehta was suspended from his job after it was found that he had been forging signatures on documents, he was allowed to return to work after completing an ethics course.
Mehta still has a warrant out for his arrest and the authorities are hoping an international warrant will be issued so Mehta can be extradited.
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