News

Parents of nine children steal $7000 in flood grants

AN IPSWICH couple ripped off $7000 in emergency flood grants after making a fake claim saying they had been affected.

Taioala and Mina Vaivai, parents of nine children, were spared from the disaster, but made an application to get money from the funds provided to people who had lost everything.

Their application was initially rejected, but the couple refused to give up.

In February last year at Redbank, the couple lodged sworn affidavits saying their house had been flooded and they were desperate.

The father Taioala, 60, received $2000 from the public purse, while wife Mina, 56, was granted $5000.

Prosecutor Senior Constable Adam McDonald said it was "serious high level offending".

"The government allocated money to people who had lost everything," Snr Const McDonald said. "The courts today should and do [consider] this as serious high level offending."

Magistrate Michael Quinn told the couple they should be thoroughly ashamed of taking advantage of other people's tragedy.

"You took advantage of the hardship, stress and trauma others endured when you hadn't suffered in that way," Mr Quinn said.

"You were initially refused, but that didn't deter you as you went on to make false declarations to get paid, which I regard as an aggravating feature.

"You persisted to take advantage of other people's suffering and commit fraud against Queensland people."

Since the fraud the Vaivais have paid back $1200 to the government and could have paid more but were hindered after using the cash for a trip overseas to attend the funeral of a family member.

Taioala was sentenced to three months prison, wholly suspended for 12 months, while Mina was sentenced to six months wholly suspended for 15 months.

Both where ordered to pay the remaining $5800 restitution to the department.

The pair's defence said Mina was dedicated to caring for her children and her sick husband and both were extremely remorseful and ashamed about their actions.

He said Taioala used to be a property officer at Mt Ommaney police station, but was forced to resign after a stroke in 2004.

Neither defendant had any criminal record beforehand.

Topics:  fraud



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

'Complex': Hall could be seized by State Govt

COMPLEX ISSUE: Confusion over who owns the Redbank School of Arts Hall has forced the State Government to step in and call for a new committee to be elected.

An Ipswich community hall has become the subject of controversy

Ipswich rallies and wins on rail line

PASSION: Cr David Pahlke and Ipswich commuter Lyndell Giansiracusa got behind the campaign to get the trains back running on weekends on the Ipswich-Rosewood rail line.

City shows ticker, passion to get result on Ipswich-Rosewood rail

WHO'S HIRING: Four Ipswich jobs available this weekend

Job seekers read the job advertisements on large boards at the Ipswich Showgrounds where the Australian Government Jobs and Skills Expo was held today (140613).
Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

Positions available throughout Ipswich region

Local Partners

BOOK REVIEW: The Mask of Command

This narrative from Anicent Rome has it all

The tech-version of the old pop-up book is here

IS THE old cardboard pop-up book a thing of the past?

Obama's private struggle laid bare in film

Australian actor Devon Terrell portrays a young Barack Obama in the Netflix original movie Barry. Supplied by Netflix.

Filmakers focus in on Obama's legacy

Brad Pitt's sons won't see him

Brad Pitt's eldest sons are reportedly "refusing" to see him.

Chris Pratt fell asleep while babysitting

Chris Pratt revealed he fell asleep during babysitting duties

Kylie Minogue: I want to get married soon

Pop star Kylie Minogue has revealed she hopes to get married soon

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!