Mum jailed for $50,000 Centrelink and relief pay deception

A MOTHER of three young children, who had claimed almost $50,000 too much in parenting payments from Centrelink, has been sent to jail.

To make matters worse, Anita Louise Goff, 31, of Sippy Downs, had also claimed a $2200 disaster relief payment just after the floods of January, 2011, even though her house was not damaged at all by the disaster.

Ms Goff pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court yesterday to two charges of obtaining a financial benefit by deception, totalling $51,157.69

The deception started in October, 2007, when she told Centrelink she was separated from her then husband, when in fact she was not.

Eventually the deception, was discovered through a public tip-off in October, 2011.

She also claimed emergency flood assistance funds in January, 2011, which she spent on whitegoods, for an address in North Buderim, despite her home being in Sippy Downs.

Her defence counsel Mark McAuley told the court Ms Goff was the sole breadwinner for her children, now aged 6, 7 and 11.

Judge Gary Long described the offending as "dishonest" and "cynical".

Goff was sentenced to two years' jail.

She will be released after serving three months.

She will also have to repay all the money.



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