|01-23-2010, 08:08 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Blog Entries: 3
Blind, deaf grandma jailed for benefit fraud
Blind, deaf grandma jailed for benefit fraud | Herald Sun
A PARTIALLY blind and deaf grandmother was sentenced to at least six months in jail yesterday for defrauding the Australian welfare system of almost $200,000 over 19 years.
Monica Patricia Moss, 81, appeared astonished as she became the latest example of the courts' hardline stance on welfare cheats, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Moss pleaded guilty last year to claiming two old-age pensions - one in her married name and one in her maiden name - from September 1988, totaling $196,233 in over-payments.
She said she used the money for living expenses because she was caring for her husband who had chronic emphysema and could not survive on their legal pensions alone.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Robyn Tupman said neither Moss's health complaints, including hypertension and osteoarthritis, nor her role as primary carer for her husband was a sufficient reason to avoid a full-time prison term.
"These offences reduce the overall pool of funds available to the community as a whole and the sentence ... must send a message of general deterrence," she said.
The court heard the federal government would recover the debt upon Moss' death, when her $350,000 home will be forcibly sold.
Moss divorced her alcoholic husband in 1966 and opened a bank account in her maiden name.
When her husband moved back in with her and their sons in 1989, Moss said she was forced to hide money from him to pay bills as he was prone to blowing it on alcohol.
She used the second account to continue receiving an additional pension, for which she gave the welfare system, Centrelink, a bogus address and phone number.
A Centrelink data-match audit in August 2007 uncovered the scam.
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
- Helen Keller
|01-23-2010, 09:33 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Seems time got away from the old lady...she was used to having all that $$ and not thinking of the consequences later on. I really dunno whether to feel sorry for her, if she were a younger woman, she probably would have gotten more time in jail.
Welfare fraud is rampant everywhere.