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Centrelink recipient lies about her circumstances

The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Date published
June 2018

Relevant impacts: Financial impact and business impact

A welfare recipient received Centrelink benefits to which she was not entitled by claiming she was single when she was in a de facto relationship. The recipient lied to Centrelink about her circumstances on a number of occasions in order to keep the fraud going. These lies resulted in her receiving:

  • $19,589.47 in Newstart Allowance
  • $66,123.82 in the Parenting Payment (Single)
  • $3,525.62 in the Pensioner Education Supplement.

The woman was found guilty of 5 counts of fraud under the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) and sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Related countermeasures

Use declarations or acknowledgments to both communicate and confirm that a person understands their obligations and the consequences for non-compliance. The declaration could be written or verbal, and should encourage compliance and deter fraud.

Automatically match data with another internal or external source to obtain or verify relevant details or supporting evidence. This countermeasure is supported by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner's Guidelines on data matching in Australian government administration.

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