A serious offence
Centrelink fraud is a serious offence which can result in a criminal record, substantial fines and up to 10 year’s imprisonment for a major offence.
If you suspect that you are under investigation for Centrelink Fraud, you should seek urgent legal assistance. Defences may be available to help you avoid a criminal record, fines or a jail term.
To establish a crime or fraud has occurred the prosecution must prove that your conduct was intentional and that you knew that you were not entitled to the money from Centrelink.
Are you under investigation?
If Centrelink believes a fraud has taken place, they will conduct an investigation. You may be asked to participate in a recorded interview. They can also turn up unannounced at your home to ask questions.
You should exercise your right to remain silent and get legal advice before talking to any Centrelink fraud investigators. Any information you provide in an interview can be used in Court as evidence.
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients who are under investigation or facing criminal charges for Centrelink fraud.
You may have a defence to the charges against you. Centrelink may have misinterpreted information you have given them, or they may have simply made an error.
Contact our Criminal Defence Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building the strongest case possible, the higher your chance of getting a favourable outcome.
For more information about Centrelink Fraud click here
Penalties for Centrelink Fraud may include:
- Section 19B no conviction recorded
- A fine of up to $10,200 for a minor offence
- A fine of up to $102,000 for a major offence
- Imprisonment of up to 12 months for a minor offence
- Imprisonment of up to 10 years for a major offence
Regardless of the fraud being accidental or intentional, the recipient will still have to repay any overpaid entitlements.
Defences for Centrelink fraud may include:
- Personal financial hardship (necessity)
- Mental health issues (mental illness)
- Threats or coercion (duress)
- Lack of intent to defraud (honest mistake)
Contact Fourtree Lawyers criminal defence team on 1300 529 444 today.
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“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today
I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.
Decision set aside | Centrelink Overpayment of $97,000 & $86,000 | Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Our clients were a husband and wife who reside on the Mid North Coast. They received notification from Centrelink that they owed debts of $97,000 and $86,000 respectively. These debts allegedly arose because Centrelink decided that our clients were not predominantly resident in Australia and as such were not entitled to the DSP. The alleged overpayments dated back over 10 years.
Principal solicitor Kevin Vierboom initially engaged in lengthy negotiations with Centrelink to settle the matter however this was to no avail. We then made an application the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Sydney and briefed Counsel Greg Johnson to appear.
The AAT determined that our clients did, in fact, reside in Australia and they were entitled to the Disability Support Pension. They no longer have a debt to repay. Our clients were elated with this outcome.
Community Service Order | Centrelink Fraud | Gosford Local Court
Our client, a 39-year-old female who lives in Sydney with her two sons was charged with Engage in Conduct to Obtain a Financial Advantage from a Commonwealth Entity under section 135.2(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
Our client has limited support from family members and has no current partner. Her life’s focus is on her two sons and she has worked hard to look after them both. Our client contributes to the local community by volunteering at her children’s school and she was devoted to supporting her elderly parents whilst they were still alive.
At the time of the offence, she was economically disadvantaged by having to relocate with her two sons several times due to personal circumstances. Considering our client’s complex circumstances, a custodial sentence would have had a detrimental impact on her and her two sons as there was no other suitable person to care for them.
Solicitor Denise McCarthy made extensive submissions as to our client’s previous good character, her contributions to the community and the extent of her children’s dependency on her. The Magistrate ordered 80 hours of Community Service and a Reparation Order whereby our client is required to repay the defrauded amount.
Our client was relieved at this outcome as she could continue to look after her two sons who mean everything to her.