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TAS How to Avoid Getting Charged for Centrelink Fraud?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by Simone Roberts, 5 July 2016.

  1. Simone Roberts

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    Hello,

    I am being investigated for Centrelink fraud because I had deliberately under-declared my income for a number of years. I am pretty sure my debt is going to be around $40000, if not a bit more. Is there any way possible to avoid being charged?

    If I make a large lump sum payment of about $25000 - $30000 off the debt and arrange a payment plan for the remainder, would this help me avoid a jail sentence? I was a single mother of 2 at the time I started defrauding Centrelink and was struggling financially as my youngest child's father had left me with a lot of debt and I have been battling severe depression ever since.

    In the last couple of months, I have entered a new relationship and my new partner is trying to help pay out my large debt to Centelink and I am seeing a financial counsellor to sort out all my other debts.

    I am in a job that I love and just can't believe how stupid I have been. I am scared that my children will have no one if I go to jail as my youngest child's dad has nothing to do with her.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what I have done. I am so scared I am going to lose everyone and everything!
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    Hi Simone,

    Check out this article Centrelink Fraud and Overpayments - They Will Catch You Out - Legal Blog - LawAnswers.com.au

    Since its a fairly significant sum of money that you defrauded, I would seek legal advice before you attend any interviews or tape recorded statements with Centrelink as everything that you say could be used against you in court.

    What penalty you receive if you are convicted depends on:
    • amount of overpayment
    • length of time that you defrauded
    • whether you have defrauded Centrelink before
    • whether you came forward and admitted your actions to Centrelink or whether they found you out
    • whether you pleaded guilty or not guilty
    • whether you have paid any of the owed money back
    • any mitigating personal circumstances
    A lawyer will be able to formulate the best argument based on these factors to minimise the sentence that you receive.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the above - the amount of risk involved with this matter means you really do need to get legal advice, rather than guidance from strangers on the Internet.

    Lots of firms offer a free first consultation. It would be worthwhile calling around to see what you can find.
     

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