Mother defrauds Centrelink of $14,000

A convicted Centrelink fraudster has been caught ripping off the system a second time. 

East Maitland mother-of-one, Kim Louise Murdoch, was overpaid $14,255.17 while receiving the single parent pension. 

She under declared her income by more than $42,000 between April 2009 and November 2011.

Murdoch, of Riley Street, was working for a chicken processing company and earned up to $3000 a fortnight but told Centrelink she was managing on between zero dollars and $1800.

The court heard Murdoch, 42, had been convicted of fraud in 1997 after stealing more than $10,000 from the welfare agency. 

Her solicitor told the court Murdoch could offer no explanation as to why she had gone down the same road again. 

“She accepts she should have regularised the situation,” Murdoch’s solicitor said. 

Magistrate Sharron Crews said she accepted the woman’s acknowledgement of guilt but was concerned about her lack of explanation. 

She warned that if Murdoch’s reoffending was a result of a lack of understanding about the welfare system, she should familiarise herself with it. 

“I warn you, if you reoffend you’ll certainly be facing a period of full-time custody,” Ms Crews said. 

Murdoch pleaded guilty to four counts of receiving financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity. She received a six month suspended sentence and was ordered to repay the amount owed to Centrelink. 

The maximum penalty for obtaining financial advantage from a Commonwealth agency is 12 months imprisonment and a $6600 fine.

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