Two men charged with Commonwealth fraud offences

An Australian Federal Police (AFP)-led multi-agency operation has charged two Sydney men with Commonwealth fraud offences. 

It will be alleged in court that the men were fraudulently claiming government rebates associated with family day care.

A total of 12 search warrants were conducted in the Sydney suburbs of Lakemba, Punchbowl, Moorebank, Old Guildford and Campbelltown this week (9-12 August 2016).

A 22-year-old Moorebank man was arrested at his home on Wednesday and charged with three Commonwealth fraud offences. He appeared in Sydney Central Local court yesterday (11 August 2016) and was granted bailed to re-appear in the same court of on 6 September.

A 26-year-old man from Old Guildford was arrested at his residence last night, appeared in court this morning and was remanded in custody today to reappear on 31 August.

Investigations to date have integrated the capabilities and powers of a large number of agencies and functions, including: Australian Border Force (ABF), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Department of Education and Training, and the Department of Human Services.

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Hurst said this operation brought together traditional law enforcement agencies as well as a range of other agencies to address offences against the Commonwealth.

“The arrests this week serve as a warning to people that we will explore all avenues and use every capability at our disposal to ensure criminal activity is brought before the courts,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Hurst.

“We will continue to examine individuals’ interactions with government and look for any criminal behaviour and misuse or fraud against government programs.”

The 22-year-old Moorebank man was charged with:
•one count of conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to Commonwealth, contrary to section 135.4(5) of the Criminal Code (Cth),
•one count of making false or misleading statements in applications, contrary to section 136.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth, and
•one count of dishonestly causing a loss to the Commonwealth, contrary to section 135.1(3) of the Criminal Code (Cth) respectively.

The 26-year-old Old Guildford man was charged with:
•one count of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, contrary to section 134.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth),
•one count of making false or misleading statements in applications, contrary to section 136.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth), and
•one count of dishonestly causing a loss to the Commonwealth, contrary to section 135.1(3) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

The maximum penalties for these offences is up to 10 years imprisonment.

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