Gran jailed after Centrelink scam
MARRIAGE may mean the end of a lot of things but one Southern Downs woman wasn’t about to let walking down the aisle end her Centrelink gravy-train of almost $70,000, the Warwick District Court heard yesterday.
Lian Janelle Grant, of Killarney, pleaded guilty to defrauding the Commonwealth and obtaining financial advantage by deceit after making false Newstart statements in relation to her marriage, her husband’s employment and her employment even though she was claiming Centrelink payments for an “injured hip” while living in Brisbane.
The Commonwealth prosecutor told the court if Centrelink had received the correct information from Grant she would not have been entitled to the fortnightly payments, which she received for more than six years.
“For a six years and one month period she made false representations of her personal circumstances and received $68,535.49,” the prosecutor said.
“She’s since made 18 payments and paid back $5482.11 but there’s an outstanding amount of about $63,053.”
The court heard the 53-year-old married her third husband two days after lodging a Newstart claim but failed to disclose her marriage and husband’s full-time employment to the social security department.
“She worked as an assistant nurse and still claimed payments... she also claimed hip pain limited her work capabilities. In total there was about $150,000 not declared, she worked and claimed under different names,” the prosecutor said.
Grant’s barrister Robbie Davies said “no extravagant lifestyle was led” when attempting to shed light on the missing money.
“She’s supported here in court by her third husband and her stepdaughter, she has six grandchildren and three adult children,” Mr Davies said.
“It’s said her second husband gambled on everything from horses to cards... She now supports her (current) husband who worked at the Killarney meatworks which has since closed.”
Visiting Judge Richard Jones said Grant was to be made a deterrent to the community. “This was not an early plea and you have a history of dishonest criminal activity,” Judge Jones said.
“The money was used for day-to-day expenses and the gambling addiction of your second husband but you were 41 to 47 years old when the offence occurred.
“There’s understanding of more youthful offenders but you were at an age where you knew what you were doing.”
Grant was sentenced to seven months behind bars, placed on a recognisance of $1000 for three years and a conviction was recorded.