Property and luxury vehicles forfeited after NDIS fraud investigation

NDIS_forfeiture_car

A property in Goulburn, New South Wales, and multiple luxury vehicles have been forfeited to the Commonwealth, following an investigation by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Fraud Taskforce.

The forfeiture, worth an estimated $340,000, is linked to the arrest of five people in May last year who are alleged to have defrauded the NDIS. Separate criminal proceedings in relation to this matter are ongoing.

Operation Apus, an investigation by the NDIS Fraud Taskforce – consisting of members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and Services Australia, and with a focus on high risk and serious criminal activity targeting the NDIS – commenced in December 2018. 

The investigation uncovered suspected fraudulent claims impacting upon more than 50 people on disability plans.

The Supreme Court of NSW handed down the forfeiture orders on Friday, 3 April, and is part of ongoing civil court proceedings targeting criminal assets pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).

Stefan Jerga, AFP National Manager of Criminal Assets Confiscation, said the AFP and its partners remain committed to pursuing those exploiting the most vulnerable in the Australian community.

“Fraud against the NDIS, and fraud more generally against government measures intended to support our most vulnerable and in need, is an insidious criminal activity,” Mr Jerga said.

“This forfeiture should reassure our community that at this very challenging time for our nation, agencies across the Commonwealth are working proactively together to deliver and safeguard government measures which support the community.

“This includes creating a hostile environment for criminal groups by targeting and removing the profits from their fraudulent activities.”

Anyone with information about suspected fraud involving the NDIS should contact the Fraud Reporting Hotline on 1800 650 717. Anyone with information about other suspected criminal activity, including fraud against other government support measures, should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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