Charges for Centrelink Fraud

Have you been charged with Centrelink fraud?
We can help you.

Charges relating to Centrelink fraud are some of the most common charges that the Commonwealth prosecute. They are serious charges because they carry lengthy maximum periods of imprisonment (up to 10 years).

Centrelink frauds are also often cases where otherwise good people have exercised bad judgment and it is important to convey that to the Court.

Centrelink fraud charges

Are you being interviewed by Centrelink?

If Centrelink want to interview you, you should get legal advice before you participate in an interview.

Centrelink are not always trying to help you in an interview. You should get practical advice from someone who deals with Centrelink a lot. These interviews can eventually be used against you in Court.

Centrelink overpayments & fraud charges

If Centrelink do not believe that you have been fraudulent or acted deceptively then they do not have to charge you. Instead, they can just start taking some of your entitlement and use it to repay the amount of money they believe you have taken.

If you disagree with the amount that Centrelink claim that you have been overpaid then you can apply for an internal review or appeal to the Social Security Administrative Tribunal.

Fraud charges occur if Centrelink believes that the amount is not small. Generally, it is unusual for Centrelink to prosecute for amounts under $5000. Whether you will be charged with fraud also depends on the level of dishonesty that Centrelink believe you have been involved in.

Centrelink fraud prosecutions

Once Centrelink have completed an investigation and worked out what they think the overpayment is then the matter is prosecuted by the the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

The CDPP are a separate and independent body from Centrelink that they make a final decision on whether criminal charges will be laid. CDPP have to decide if there is a reasonable prospect that they will win the case and whether the charges should be laid. Obviously they factor into that the circumstances of the offending (as far as they know or understand them). For example where a person has made up an entirely fictitious person or the amount involved.

Pleading guilty to Centrelink fraud

If you are guilty of what Centrelink are alleging and you want to plead guilty then it is very important that your matter is prepared properly. If the overpayment was a large amount then it is important to work out a strategy that will avoid prison, if possible, and that reflects both the crime and your personal circumstances.

Avoiding conviction on a plea of guilty to Centrelink fraud

On a plea of guilty it is sometimes possible to avoid a conviction being entered against you. This is obviously a great result if you can keep your record clean. It will depend on the circumstances of the offending and often the most important factor is whether the money has been paid back to Centrelink or not.

Latest Centrelink fraud case studies

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 …
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This is a case of Centrelink Fraud resulting in a Community Corrections Order. What is alleged to have occured? Our client was charged with obtaining a financial advantage from the Commonwealth in relation to social security payments. The quantum was not insignificant and was alleged to have occurred over several …
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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, …
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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 …
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