Working mum defrauds Centrelink

A MOTHER who dishonestly claimed more than $16,000 in single parent benefits has been sentenced to a six-month suspended prison term this week.

Katie Anne Davis appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on two charges of obtaining financial advantage.

The 27-year-old carer declared only eight per cent of her full income to Centrelink over a two-year period.

She was earning an average of $974 a fortnight while still pocketing the single parenting payment.

Davis had worked for three different employers over the two-year period and had been required to report her income every fortnight.

Defence lawyer Michael Riedel said his client had left a violent relationship and was experiencing financial difficulty during the time she failed to declare her income.

She was working, studying to become a qualified nurse and raising her child.

Magistrate Barrie Barrett took into account Davis’s lack of criminal history and personal circumstances when sentencing her to a non-custodial term.

He released her on a $5000 good-behaviour bond.

“If you reoffend, steps can be taken to forfeit that amount or for you to serve the whole or part of that six-month term,” Mr Barrett said.

He ordered Davis to repay $16,234 she still owed to Centrelink and also to pay court costs of $71.70.
 


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