Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Mother Faces Centrelink Fraud Charge

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Mother Faces Centrelink Fraud Charge

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Mckean bruce.mckean@dailymercury.com.au

LEA Kelly was earning an average of $2500 a fortnight - but she still ripped off the taxpayers by illegally obtaining social security benefits.

She failed to declare income from her employment and was overpaid more than $6000 in benefits.

Kelly, a 35-year-old mother who supports children aged 11, 7 and 6, pleaded guilty in the Mackay Magistrate's Court yesterday to knowingly obtaining social security payments to which she was not entitled.

Most of the overpayments were made while she was living in Gladstone, working for Comalco, Commonwealth prosecutor Ms Alex Thomas said.

Kelly was overpaid $6182 in single parenting payments over 28 fortnights during which she earned an average of $2525 a fortnight, Ms Thomas said.

Her offending was detected by a data match with Australian Taxation Office records.

She told Centrelink that she may have declared weekly income instead of fortnightly income on some occasions. …

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