Our 40-year-old client and mother of three from Gosford was charged with serious Centrelink offences.
In 2019, our client was advised by Centrelink that she had been overpaid over a period of approximately 5 and a half years while receiving a Single Parent Payment. As a result a garnishee order was obtained by Centrelink which effectively took out her wages to repay the money over multiple months.
In early 2020, repayments ceased and our client was approached by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions who charged her with a offence of ‘Dishonestly obtain Financial Advantage by Deception’ against a Commonwealth entity (Centrelink). The total sum alleged to be fraudulently received by her was over $70,000.
Our client contacted the CDLA team and spoke to our Managing Lawyer, Tayla Regan who provided a very practical approach on how to best run her case to be in the best position to avoid full time jail.
We immediately commenced negotiations with the prosecution to change the facts on how the offending occurred. The Summary of Facts were successfully changed to include the extent of our client’s repayment contributions, which was not originally included by the prosecution.
On that basis our client pleaded guilty, and the matter remained in Gosford Local Court.
Our Tayla Regan meticulously prepared the matter, including the drafting of detailed written submissions to the Magistrate. Numerous other materials were relied upon including medical evidence, to convince the court not to impose full time jail.
Ultimately, despite the significant sum of money involved and the long duration in which the offending conduct occurred, the Magistrate agreed with our legal team not to send out client to jail. In the result, the court sentenced her to an intensive correction order for 9 months, with 50 hours of community service work.
Our client was very pleased to be able to come back home to her children, and move on with her life.