Footy Show lovers in a $50k scam
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...