A five-year-old mother stole nearly $ 150,000 in benefits by falsely claiming to be a fighting single parent, despite being in a relationship all the time.
Toni-Maree Richardson, 34, failed to tell Centrelink for eight years that she lived in a suburban home in Sydney with her partner Lynley Barnes, father of her five children.
This meant that Richardson qualified as a single parent, allowing her to receive $ 149,035 in government handouts under both the Newstart and Parenting Payment schemes.
Legal documents from Daily Mail Australia sometimes reveal that Richardson even sent text messages to Barnes with instructions on what to say if he was ever interrogated by Centrelink.
Toni-Maree Richardson (photo) stole nearly $ 150,000 in benefits from Centrelink by claiming that she was a single parent for eight years, despite having a long-term relationship
The 34-year-old mother of five wrongly received $ 149,035 in government handouts through the Newstart and Parenting Payment schemes between 2009 and 2017
Richardson's well-being exercise began in September 2009, two weeks after the birth of her and Barnes's first child.
After she called Centrelink to inquire about her entitlement to payments, she filled out an application form on which she stated her current relationship status as & # 39; single & # 39 ;.
She supported this claim by giving a similar answer to a Medicare form.
This was despite the fact that she had been living with her friend in Kogarah and Moorebank since December the previous year, and even had a joint health insurance policy with him.
When she gave birth to twin boys in early 2011, Richardson asked Centrelink again for financial support.
At this point she had three children for the same man, but continued with her lies.
& # 39; (I have) never married or cohabited with a partner & # 39 ;, Richardson claimed on the forms.
Even after the birth of her fifth child in 2015, Richardson continued to claim that she was a single parent and wrote on forms that she lived alone with her children in Moorebank.
Richardson lived with her partner Lynley Barnes (left) and their five children, but continued to claim on Centrelink forms that she was a single parent – allowing her to receive more welfare funding
Richardson escaped from prison and received a 12-month community correction in the NSW court last month.
During a raid on Richardson's house in 2017, the police grabbed a cell phone on which they found texts (above) that she had sent Barnes to tell him what to say when Centrelink started asking questions
A TIME SCHEDULE FOR WELFARE:
2009: September 15 – Richardson and Barnes welcome their first child
21st of September – On a Medicare form, the new mother answers the question & # 39; do you have a relationship & # 39; with & # 39; no & # 39;
September 29 – Richardson claims she is single on a Centrelink form
2011: February 21st – She gives birth to twins
4th of March – Richardson claims more Centrelink help and declares that she & # 39; never lived with a partner & # 39;
August 29 – Richardson and Barnes move to a house in Moorebank
2013: 15 May – The couple welcomes a fourth child, a daughter
30th of May – Richardson applies for a baby bonus and family tax, where the & # 39; partner & # 39; is not entered
2015: September 2nd – Couple welcomes a fifth child
June 9 – She applies again for the baby bonus and the family tax
2017: June 15 – Richardson sends an SMS to Barnes to tell him what to say when Centrelink calls
November 15 – The police raid their house and find documents, photos & texts in which Richardson is shown in a relationship
In addition to raising their children, Instagram messages from Richardson show her on family vacations to the Gold Coast.
But the law caught the mother of five in November 2017 when the police raided the home of the family she shared with her partner and their children.
The police confiscated documents and photos whereupon Richardson and her lover posed side by side, just like any normal couple.
Officers also grabbed Richardson's cell phone and discovered text messages she sent to her partner and told him what to do if Centrelink started asking questions.
& # 39; I just called Centrelink and they ask about maintenance that you pay, I told them that you buy formula and diapers every fourteen days and pay for all sporting activities, & # 39; said Richardson.
During a police interview on November 15, 2017, the loving mother has fully admitted to her Centrelink fraud.
Barnes was never charged with a violation and Daily Mail Australia suggests no misconduct on his part.
Richardson pleaded guilty to one accusation for obtaining financial benefit, a crime that is accompanied by a maximum prison sentence of ten years.
But despite the immense balance, she just failed Richardson to escape from prison.
She was sentenced to an intensive correction order (ICO) of 22 months before the NSW court last month and received 462 hours of community service.
Richardson was also instructed to repay the full amount she received – $ 149,035.
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