Gladstone man, 34, owes Centrelink $11,000

A GLADSTONE man who wrongly claimed more than $11,000 in Centrelink benefits will have to repay the outstanding money.

At around $15 a week it may take Dean Michael Landry quite a few years to reboot the Commonwealth coffers.

Landry, 34, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to three counts of obtaining a finacial advantage.

 

The offences took place at different times between 2010 and 2013 when Landry was doing casual work.

Prosecutor Sgt Pepe Gangemi said Landry claimed Newstart allowance when he was either not eligible at all because he was employed, or only partially eligible.

Sgt Gangemi said Landry received a total of $17,158 but had only been eligible to $5719.

The fraud was detected when the Australian Taxation Office did a data match.

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said Landry had literacy difficulties and a former partner had filled out forms for him.

The overpayments had not been intentional as Landry worked casually as a labourer.

Magistrate Penelope Hay said Landry had no prior offences for dishonesty but such matters must be treated seriously.

She noted that his casual work had been sporadic at times.

She ordered Landry to complete 100 hours of unpaid community service work.

He must continue to repay the money back to the Commonwealth.
 
 



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