Man al­legedly claimed $60,000 in pay­ments

The Chronicle - - News -

A MAN has been ar­rested and charged for falsely claim­ing drought as­sis­tance worth about $60,000.

The 41-year-old Cunnamulla man was ar­rested on Thurs­day and charged with 41 of­fences.

Ma­jor and Or­gan­ised Crime Squad (Ru­ral) De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Troy Pukallus said the man had been served a no­tice to ap­pear in court for the 41 charges, in­clud­ing five counts of fraud, 18 counts of forgery and 18 for ut­ter­ing a false doc­u­ment.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion started af­ter the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries re­ferred the mat­ter to po­lice last month.

It is al­leged the man fal­si­fied and sub­mit­ted doc­u­ments in or­der to re­ceive as­sis­tance from the De­part­ment, who ad­min­is­ters the Drought Re­lief As­sis­tance Scheme.

“This is a tough time for farm­ers and those im­pacted so heav­ily by the drought,” DI Pukallus said.

“We take of­fences like this quite se­ri­ously as it has the po­ten­tial to af­fect those who gen­uinely need and de­serve this as­sis­tance.”

The man is due to ap­pear in St Ge­orge Mag­is­trates Court on Jan­uary 22, 2019.

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