Fraudster mother, 35, who rorted more than $ 26,000 from Centrelink, sheds tears while in prison for nine months
- Melka Jane Krunes fleeceed $ 26,018 over a period of almost seven years
- She served a good behavioral bond for scamming social security benefits
- The mother-of-one was paid more than $ 70,000 after 156 false reports
- On 16 occasions she told Centrelink that she had no income despite working
A mother who rorted more than $ 26,000 from Centrelink broke into tears while she was imprisoned for nine months.
Melka Jane Krunes, 35, from Mount Louisa in Townsville, has scammed $ 26,018 from the government in almost seven years.
Krunes already served a three-year bond with good behavior to scam social benefits when she fraudulently received more money from 2011 to 2017.
The mother-of-one was paid more than $ 70,000 after 156 false reports to Centrelink, the Courier Mail reported.
Melka Jane Krunes, 35, from Mount Louisa in Townsville, has ripped $ 26,018 from the government in almost seven years
On 16 occasions, Krunes stated that he had no income, despite having at least four different jobs.
But in May 2016, the Australian tax authorities discovered the fraudulent activities of Krunes.
She refused to participate in a recorded interview as part of their investigation in 2018.
Krunes pleaded guilty on Thursday to three charges at the Townsville Magistrates Court.
Federal Public Prosecutor Catherine Ferguson told the court that such offenses are “serious, common and relatively easy to commit.”
“The social security system relies on the honesty of the recipients, because a stricter arrangement … would be enormously expensive and would delay payments to real applicants,” she said.
Phil Rennick’s defense lawyer, Phil Rennick, said she had repaid all the fraudulent money, and argued against imprisonment for being the primary caregiver for her daughter and mother suffering from chronic depression.
But magistrate Viviana Keegan said the public should be made aware of the serious consequences of the collapse of the system for financial gain.
“You steal from every taxpayer in the country and divert resources from people who really need them,” said Keegan.
Krunes cried in her mother’s arms while she was sentenced to nine months behind bars.
However, she is released after three months.
She was also instructed to repay $ 2,000 and received a three-year good behavior bond.
The mother-in-person told Centrelink 16 times that she had no income, despite having at least four different jobs