Man defrauds Centrelink to the tune of $50K
A Brisbane man defrauded the Federal Government out of more than $50,000 by giving Centrelink false income information 100 times.
Joshua David Papworth pleaded guilty at Pine Rivers Magistrates Court to five charges of Centrelink fraud.
The court heard between 2011 and 2017 Papworth 84 times falsely claimed to Centrelink he had made no income and 16 times falsely claimed the incorrect amount of income.
He falsely reported to Centrelink income from both employment and from WorkCover payments.
The court heard Papworth worked as a semi-skilled labourer and worked for six different employers during those years.
His lawyer Rory Cunningham said Papworth had suffered injuries to his wrist, thumb and neck that meant he was unlikely to ever be able to do physically intensive work again.
Mr Cunningham said Papworth has two outstanding personal injury claims that are expected to be settled soon.
He said these settlements meant the outstanding debt to Centrelink would be paid.
Papworth has repaid $5000 towards the debt.
Mr Cunningham said Papworth always believed he would be caught and thought the money would be repaid through the injury settlements.
"He was in dire straits and thought it would all be worked out when the personal injury claims were sorted," he said.
Papworth was jailed for nine months, released forthwith and placed on a $1000 good behaviour bond for 12 months.
Magistrate Melanie Ho said Papworth now faced being jailed if he gave false income declarations to Centrelink in the future.
Originally published as Man defrauds Centrelink to the tune of $50K