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Pensioner cheat jailed

The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
Date published
May 2015

Relevant impact: Financial impact

A Queensland woman was charged for collecting her late mother’s pension for nearly 20 years which totalled $254,440. The woman’s mother had a separate bank account under a different name which continued to receive payments after her death. The woman regularly withdrew funds from this bank account and updated the address and contact details multiple times over a number of years. The woman was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months imprisonment.

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.

Set up system prompts and alerts to warn users when information is inconsistent or irregular, which either requires acceptance or denies further actions.

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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