Queanbeyan man receives eight months prison for Centrelink fraud

A Queanbeyan man has been sentenced to eight months in prison after defrauding Centrelink to the tune of $12,000.

Robert Fitzpatrick, 38, was sentenced in Queanbeyan Local Court last week and ordered to pay the Commonwealth back the full $12,101.05. He will be eligible for release after four months in March next year.

The statement of facts prepared by the Commonwealth stated Fitzpatrick received a Carer payment between November 2014 and June 2015 to which he knew he was not entitled.

Fitzpatrick registered nil income on several occasions to Centrelink during the period despite being paid $30,302 in that time.

His income meant he qualified for a payment of roughly $1200 rather than the full amount collected of $13,341.

Fitzpatrick had both his income and Centrelink payments deposited into the same bank account and his offence was discovered by way of a data match completed with the Australian Taxation Office.

Court documents show Fitzpatrick was also convicted in 2014 for receiving payments while inaccurately reporting his income.

The Carer payment Fitzpatrick received was for a person providing full-time care in the home of a person with a disability.

The maximum penalty for this offence is up to 12 months imprisonment or a $10,200 fine.