Footy Show lovers in a $50k scam

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - RICHARD NOONE

TO Cen­tre­link she was Jade Robin­son, a sin­gle mum just try­ing to raise two boys on her own in a rented house at Black­town.

In re­al­ity she was the high school sweet­heart turned part­ner and then wife of for­mer Sharks prop David Fi­fita — twin brother of Ori­gin I Man of the Match An­drew Fi­fita.

Robin­son and David Fifta were liv­ing to­gether but that didn’t stop her claim­ing sin­gle par­ent pay­ments in a fraud that even­tu­ally net­ted nearly $50,000. Fi­fita was on a play­ing con­tract of about $160,000 a year at the time.

Bizarrely, Fi­fita and Robin­son re­vealed in­ti­mate de­tails of their re­la­tion­ship on The Footy Show’s “Per­fect Part­ners” seg­ment while she was ac­cept­ing gov­ern­ment pay­ments as a sin­gle mum who al­ways ticked the box “never mar­ried or lived with a part­ner” on claim forms.

The cou­ple even joked about the pay­ments in text mes­sages seized in a raid of their Suther­land home, in which Fi­fita tells her to stop wor­ry­ing about money be­cause she gets “paid Tues­day”.

Robin­son replied “Nah I get paid next week babe” to which Fi­fita re­sponded: “No Cen­tre­link lol. Ha­haah”.

Robin­son, 26, pleaded guilty on Fri­day to two counts of ob­tain­ing fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage from a Com­mon­wealth en­tity af­ter rort­ing Cen­tre­link from Septem­ber 2011 to Fe­bru­ary 2013 — when Fi­fita signed for a sea­son with French side Lezig­nan San­gliers — and again on their re­turn un­til May last year.

All up she pock­eted $48,507.52 in sin­gle par­ent pay­ments af­ter ly­ing about her re­la­tion­ship sta­tus.

A check with the of­fice of Births, Deaths and Mar­riages led Cen­tre­link in­ves­ti­ga­tors to quickly es­tab­lish David Fi­fita was listed as the fa­ther of Robin­son’s sons Krew and Deja.

Prop­erty records re­vealed Robin­son com­pleted a rent cer­tifi­cate for a house at Ross St, Black­town, in 2011 say­ing she was the only oc­cu­pant, but owner Sal­va­tore Libri con­firmed to Cen­tre­link both Robin­son and Fi­fita were ten­ants.

In 2015 Robin­son told Cen­tre­link she and her kids had moved to Auburn St, Suther­land, but Cripps and Cripps Real Es­tate con­firmed both she and Fi­fita had rented the prop­erty since Septem­ber the year be­fore.

Cen­tre­link in­ves­ti­ga­tors raided the cou­ple’s Suther­land home on May 18 last year and seized fam­ily pho­tos show­ing the cou­ple and their chil­dren, in­clud­ing Krew’s chris­ten­ing in Oc­to­ber 2011 and her diary in which she wrote in April 2013 about her “seven-year an­niver­sary” with Fi­fita.

Robin­son told Cen­tre­link she mar­ried Fi­fita in April 2016 but dur­ing the search in­ves­ti­ga­tors found a wed­ding book­let and video which showed they ac­tu­ally mar­ried in Koh Sa­mui, Thai­land, two years ear­lier, on Oc­to­ber 10, 2014.

Fi­fita has not been charged with any offence and there is no sug­ges­tion he was party to any wrong­do­ing.

His wife, how­ever, will face sen­tenc­ing on Novem­ber 14.

David and Jade Fi­fita.

Robin­son I just trans­ferred $250.00 make it last the day babe. I re­ally thought we had more money then that. Fi­fita that’s heaps babe lol text you soon. Re­mem­ber you get paid Tues­day x love you were fine Robin­son Nah I get paid next week babe Fi­fita...

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