Social Security and Centrelink offences refer to obtaining a benefit from the Commonwealth Government where there is no entitlement.
A person is guilty of an offence of this kind if they engage in conduct and as a result of that conduct, they obtain a financial advantage knowing or believing that they are not eligible to receive that financial advantage.
One of the most common ways people are alleged to have defrauded the government is by not correctly declaring income from employment. For example, they either fail to advise Centrelink that they are employed, or they declare some income but the amount declared is under the actual amount earned.
Deterring others in the community from committing similar offences plays a very important role in the sentencing process for offences of this type.
Penalties in this area can be severe, and jail sentences for even relatively minor frauds are not uncommon.
The likely sentence imposed will depend on a number of factors including:
Gilshenan & Luton has significant expertise and experience in the area of defending and responding to allegations of social security fraud.