No ben­e­fit to mum’s fraud

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A 34-YEAR-OLD mother of three has to re-pay Cen­tre­link more than $16,000 af­ter fac­ing the Proser­pine Mag­is­trate’s Court this week.

Stacey Alice Glo­ria Broad­bent, whose chil­dren are 10, eight and 14 months old, ini­tially ap­plied for a par­ent­ing pay­ment on Septem­ber 19, 2006.

Com­mon­wealth pros­e­cu­tor Kate Mil­bourne said in Au­gust 2010, Broad­bent started work and from May 9, 2011 to Septem­ber 2013, she in­cor­rectly de­clared in­come from that job.

The court heard not all of of the $869.08 she earned per fort­night was de­clared to the agency Cen­tre­link.

Over 62 fort­nights the over­pay­ment to­talled $16,148.66.

Broad­bent was fi­nally de­tected by a data match with the ATO on Fe­bru­ary 27, 2012.

When asked to ex­plain her­self she al­legedly said she thought she was re­port­ing in the right man­ner at the time but un­der­stood what she did was wrong and apol­o­gised.

Ms Mil­bourne said this was a case of in­ten­tional mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion through which Broad­bent ob­tained benefits she wasn’t el­i­gi­ble to re­ceive.

Mag­is­trate Haydn St­jern­qvist agreed this was se­ri­ous of­fend­ing “ef­fec­tively so preva­lent that it will just break the sys­tem one day”.

“So many peo­ple (are) re­ceiv­ing Cen­tre­link, wel­fare, what­ever you want to call it (and) what has to hap­pen is that ev­ery­one has to be hon­est,” he said.

Broad­bent was sen­tenced to 12 months im­pris­on­ment but im­me­di­ately re­leased.

She was also placed on a $2000 good be­hav­iour bond for three years and or­dered to re­pay the Com­mon­wealth the en­tire $16,148.66.

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