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



Young father breaches child porn court orders

Generic Rockhampton Court.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

Drugs and failure to report lands man in jail

Mobile tower rage: ‘We pay the price’

CONCERNED: Deebing Heights residents Darryl Beyer and Jenny Harrison look over the approved Optus mobile phone tower site.

'I'd never forgive myself if anything ever happened to the children'

Ipswich's own foodie heaven in town this weekend

Jocelyn Balbarais of Goodna with Samantha, 12, Elijah, 18 months, and Monica, 9, enjoying the Ipswich CBD Food Fair in the Square.

It is the perfect night out for everyone

Local Partners

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

AN IRATE Steve Price has threatened to quit I'm A Celebrity after a series of drama-filled clashes with Keira Maguire.

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

$1b Springfield development deadline brought forward

Aveo's Springfield development is running ahead of schedule.

The majority of interest has come from local buyers

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!