Centrelink Fraud Charges
The client had been working for three years but had not been declaring her earnings to Centrelink. It was determined that the client had taken $18,000 in benefit payments that she was not entitled to.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions proceeded against the client with the charge of Obtaining a Financial Advantage. The client was summonsed to appear in the Magistrates’ Court. It is always an important consideration to note that the legislation is commonwealth based and therefore different sentencing laws apply. For more on centrelink fraud follow the link.
The client accepted that she had not declared the earnings. At the time the client had split up from her partner and was responsible for raising two young children on her own. She had no other family support and had been diagnosed with severe depression.
These matters are prosecuted by the Commonwealth and subsequently the Criminal Code applies. Under the Criminal Code the Court is obliged to take the above matters into account when determining whether there have been extenuating circumstances.
The Magistrate in this case was satisfied that extenuating circumstances existed and imposed a 19B Good Behaviour Bond. This was an extremely lenient outcome given the amount of money taken. The client was very relieved.