Centrelink Charges – Recognisance

This is a case study on Centrelink charges that led to a recognisance.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with obtaining over $105,000 by deception from Centrelink over an 8 year-period. This was done by misstating that she was a single parent when she, in fact, was in a relationship with the father of her children. At the time of the plea, she had repaid approximately $9,000 of the amount.

The Commonwealth sentencing regime for matters such as this varies significantly. There have been many previous cases where such value had attracted immediate terms of imprisonment. Our objective was to avoid an immediate prison term for the client.

What happened at court?
Kristina Kothrakis represented the client at the Melbourne County Court on the following charges:

Our client had no prior convictions and was a mother of four children. We obtained psychological material which verified that for a significant part of the charge period, she had been battling with severe depression. We were able to persuade the court that her misrepresentation of her domestic situation was not done with the expressed intention to defraud Centrelink. She had an unconventional relationship with the father of the kids, which in her mind did not necessarily need to be disclosed to Centrelink. We were able to show that this was also done because of need rather than greed. Her children were also particularly vulnerable and would have been severely negatively impacted by their mother going to gaol.

What was the result?
The judge was ultimately satisfied that he could impose a penalty which would not see our client going to gaol. Our client was sentenced to a recognisance order to be of good behaviour for a period of 3 years. This was a good result. The judge declared under section 6AAA of the Sentencing Act that had our client pleaded guilty and been found guilty, that he would have sentenced her to 30 months imprisonment, with 12 months to serve in custody.

Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ profile.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 01/10/2015