Obtain Financial Advantage From Centrelink – Good Behaviour Bond

This is case study on a Centrelink charge resulting in a non-conviction good behaviour bond.

What is alleged to have occured?
The client received in excess of $10,000 in payments from Centrelink to which she was not entitled. This occurred in circumstances of financial distress, where she underreported her earnings to Centrelink whilst working in a job where she earned a commission-based wage, and her earnings were unpredictable.

Centrelink charged her with 3 separate charges of obtaining a financial advantage (Centrelink fraud) after detecting her fraud by data-matching with the Australian Taxation Office.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court.

What was the result?
The client received a non-conviction good behaviour bond, the only sentence available to a Magistrate for Commonwealth Offences which does not carry the automatic recording of a conviction.

Ordinarily a debt of this amount would be considered outside the appropriate range of sentences, but the Magistrate was persuaded that the client had excellent prospects of rehabilitation as she had secured sound employment and had never been in trouble before. The client had paid a substantial amount of the money back to Centrelink.
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 25/02/2013