Defending Centrelink Fraud Charges

The starting point of a defence to a Centrelink charge is the question whether you thought you were doing anything wrong.

If you did not believe you were doing anything wrong then it may well be that Centrelink can not prove that you have committed a criminal offence.

It should be remembered that Centrelink may be bringing the charges but they are being heard in a criminal Court and a criminal Court will expect Centrelink to prove any charges beyond reasonable doubt.

Can Centrelink Prove Intent?

Most of these offences require you to have a full knowledge that what you did would result in Centrelink paying you more than you should have received.

Often people misunderstand their obligations and did not know they should have been declaring certain information to Centrelink.

There are also often calculation problems by Centrelink of the amounts. This is not surprising as the files that they have are very large and often very hard to follow the calculations (even with a lot of experience in these matters).

Defending Centrelink overpayments is most often on the basis that you did not have an intent to defraud Centrelink (or the Commonwealth Government). Where you might have misunderstood the obligations to provide details to Centrelink about our living arrangements this may be the defence that you run.

The most important step that you should take is to contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as you are aware that you might be interviewed and/or charged.

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