Release and Recognisance Order for Centrelink Fraud

This is a case study on a sentence of release and recognisance order for Centrelink Fraud.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client had incorrectly stated their income from employment when reporting to Centrelink each fortnight. This resulted in the client being overpaid by Centrelink in excess of $70,000 in benefits that the client was not entitled to receive. The offending took place over a lengthy period of more than 6 years and only a small amount had been paid back to Centrelink.

What happened at court?
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court for the charge of Centrelink Fraud.

The matter proceeded as a plea of guilty.

After hearing detailed plea submissions regarding the history and personal circumstances of the client, his Honour indicated that he would not impose a term of immediate imprisonment. The magistrate came to this view due to two factors: firstly, due to the client’s extraordinary personal circumstances and, secondly, due to the concession by the Commonwealth that a wholly suspended sentence was within range.

What was the result?
The client was able to avoid an immediate gaol term – receiving instead a release and recognisance order for Centrelink Fraud which operates in the same way as a suspended sentence. The client was released with a six-month gaol term suspended for 12 months. The outcome was also assisted by an agreement with the prosecution to acknowledge that such a penalty was within the appropriate range.

A reparation order was also made against the client, however arrangements were made so that the client can repay the outstanding debt by instalments.
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 25/07/2018