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ACT Centrelink Income Under Reporting

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by fathershark, 23 April 2015.

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  1. fathershark

    fathershark Member

    23 April 2015
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    Okay, a summary. I am located in Australia and I have recently contacted Centrelink to own up to not properly declaring my income for the last 4 years. By my estimate this would have resulted in an overpayment of about $40k.

    The mitigating circumstances are that I have had a drug and alcohol problem during this time (I'm now on day 13 of detox), suffered from depression and had significant financial hardship. This would also be my first appearance before the court in any capacity.

    I'm terrified of being imprisoned. I share custody of children. Do you think this is likely?

    I know I did the wrong thing, which is why I called them to own up to it and I am truly remorseful.

    No charges have been laid yet, and I haven't been invited in for an interview.
  2. rebeccag

    rebeccag Well-Known Member

    8 April 2014
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    Hi fathershark,
    Have a look at these previous LawAnswers posts that relate to Centrelink issues/fraud:
    A maximum penalty for Centrelink fraud can be jail time, but there may well a fine in addition to you paying back what you owe.

    The fact is that they have to prove that you had intent to defraud them, so a defence is that you were genuinely unaware. Some people in other related posts have said that they were genuinely unaware - you've said that you were aware, so you really need to get legal advice from a criminal lawyer in these circumstances as its serious.

    Contact Legal Aid ACT to see if they can give you some advice Legal Aid ACT. Remember that anything you say can be used as evidence if Centrelink decide to take you to court, so you need to be prepared before you speak to Centrelink and careful when you do.

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