A 49-year-old Parramatta man will spend up to 10 months behind bars for defrauding the Federal Government of more than $75,000.
Parramatta Local Court heard Ronald Anderson used a different identity in his employment and did not declare his income to the Department of Human Services while claiming the Disability Support Pension between 2009 and 2012.
The department began investigating the man after receiving a tip off from another government agency.
In handing down the sentence on Tuesday, Magistrate Baptie told Mr Anderson “the fact that it involves substantial identity fraud, to ensure the fraud was executed, makes it a much more serious set of circumstances”.
“The court regularly sees fraud and what aggravates these circumstances is he desperately used this identity to undertake and conduct fraud over a substantial period of time,” Ms Baptie said.
Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the custodial sentence was a timely reminder that stealing from taxpayers will not be tolerated.
“If you are doing the wrong thing, it is only a matter of time before you are caught and face serious consequences,” Minister Payne said.
“Most people who receive a social security payment are honest and do the right thing by keeping the department up-to-date about their circumstances to ensure they are paid correctly and don’t get a debt,” Minister Payne said.
“The law requires a person to notify the department of changes in circumstances that affect their payments within 14 days. This includes changes to their income.
“The department has one of the most sophisticated electronic data-matching systems in Australia, and it continuously matches customer records and data with a large number of external agencies and government departments.
“This isn’t about prosecuting people who make genuine mistakes – it’s about enforcing the law and deterring those who set out to commit fraud.
Mr Anderson was sentenced to 10 months to be released after six months and was placed on a four month good behaviour bond. The Magistrate also ordered the man to repay $56,767.18.
To report a suspected fraud, members of the public can call the Australian Government Services Fraud Tip-off Line on 13 1524 or visit humanservices.gov.au/fraud