No benefit to mum’s fraud
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.