Woman claims $17,000 Newstart allowance while working

A 29-YEAR-old Urangan woman has been charged at the Hervey Bay Court with ripping off more than $17,000 from the Federal Government through Centrelink fraud.

For more than a year-and-a-half, Sarah Joyce Zingleman under-reported her earnings to claim a Newstart allowance payment.

Commonwealth prosecutor barrister Madonna Hayes said Ms Zingleman had committed fraud by intentionally not declaring her income to Centrelink and falsely 8 claiming to be unemployed.

"Newstart allowance claim recipients are required to regularly update their income and notify if their circumstances change," Ms Hayes said.

"She declared only $5000 - only 14% of her total earnings."

Ms Hayes said the offences were detected through Centrelink's data watch checks.

"In her interview on October 3, she made full admissions to the social security offences and active deceit," Ms Hayes said.

"Ms Zingleman has been making attempts for restitution by way of with-holding."

Magistrate Graeme Tatnell ordered Ms Zingleman complete 240 hours of unpaid community service and repay the balance of the $17,022.01 owed, plus court costs.

"It will be a chance for you to repay the community for what you attempted to take," he said.



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