Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Woman Jailed over $20,000; Mother Has a Long History for Dishonesty

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Woman Jailed over $20,000; Mother Has a Long History for Dishonesty

Article excerpt

Janessa Ekert

janessa.ekert@dailymercury.com.au

A WOMAN will spend two months in jail for cheating Centrelink out of nearly $20,000 to which she wasn't entitled.

Patricia Ann Stewart has a "terrible" history of dishonesty dating back to 1986.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said it included leaving hotels without paying, false pretences, forgery, fraud, stealing and passing bad cheques. The now 47-year-old had previously breached probation twice and a community service order.

She pleaded guilty in the Mackay Magistrates Court to one count of obtaining financial advantage for self.

Stewart was the recipient of a single parenting payment.

She wasn't required to fill in a fortnightly form. The payments were automatic once she was in the system, but she was required to inform Centrelink if there were any changes to her personal circumstances.

Across 44 fortnights, between August 2011 and April 2013, Stewart received $30,893.72 in parenting payments. …

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