Woman faces Bunbury court over Centrelink fraud

A former Mandurah woman who racked up a Centrelink debt of more than $30,000 faced Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday.

A former Mandurah woman who racked up a Centrelink debt of more than $30,000 faced Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday.

A former Mandurah woman who racked up a Centrelink debt of more than $30,000 faced Bunbury Magistrates Court on Monday.

Melanie Mann, 42, pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining a financial advantage after making 83 erroneous statements to the welfare department between 2012 and 2014.

The court was told Mann had been employed by four different companies during the charge period – including Fairbridge WA and two Mandurah real estate agencies – when she either failed to declare or under-declared her earnings to Centrelink.

The total sum overpaid to Mann was $32,070.55.

The offences were uncovered by way of data matching with the Australian Taxation Office.

The prosecution called for Mann to be imprisoned, with the maximum custodial penalty for the offences set at 12 months.

A request for reparation of $31,104.55 was also made.

So far, Mann has repaid $900 to the Commonwealth.

Magistrate Brian Mahon delayed sentencing on the matter until September 29 to give Mann the opportunity to make a lump sum payment of $10,000.

“You find yourself in a very serious situation,” he said.

“You need to put your very best foot forward.”

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