Without Conviction for Obtain Financial Advantage From Commonwealth

This is a case involving a sentence of without conviction for Obtain Financial Advantage From Commonwealth.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client, a mother of 3 in her 40’s, was charged with defrauding centrelink by way of receiving a parenting payment above and beyond what was allowed when her income was taken into account. She had been married for 20 years to her first love with whom she shared her 3 children. Her husband was a victim of sexual assault as a child. He never dealt with this issue and turned to alcohol and cannabis abuse as a coping mechanism. This caused significant strain on the family and, in particular, on our client.

The client worked long hours and withdrew her superannuation to put her husband through private rehabilitation. The husband earnt approximately $100 per week and used this on supporting his habits. He would also use our client’s income to support his habit and the only income he had no access to was her centrelink benefit.

As a result, our client underdeclared her earnings so that she could use the centrelink benefit to support herself and her children. It was a misguided attempt at keeping her family afloat but at the time she did not feel she had any other option. The relationship got to the point where he was physically violent towards our client and she then packed her belongings, took the children, and left. She was diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a result of her experiences within the family home.

What happened at court?
Dee Giannopoulos represented the client at the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court on the charge of Obtain Financial Advantage From the Commonwealth.

The prosecution pushed for a conviction. They submitted that it was a very serious offending and the material provided to the court from our client’s psychiatrist and general practitioner did not show that she was not in an appropriate frame of mind at the time of the offending. This is even with taking into account the circumstances our client endured in the family home at the time.

What was the result?
Ultimately, the magistrate disagreed with the prosecution’s take on the materials submitted by the defence. Our client received a sentence without conviction for Obtain Financial Advantage From Commonwealth. This means that she can still take her children on a holiday in the future and continue to work in the nursing industry which she has been employed into for many years.

Dee Giannopoulosdee-giannopoulos-profile

Dee is based in our Melbourne office and appears at all Courts in Victoria. Dee’s commitment to her clients and her passion for justice drives her to achieve great results.

View Dee Giannopoulos’ 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 22/11/2017