$550,000 COVID-19 relief, bushfire disaster payment fraud charges

A man, 36, was arrested and faces charges at St Marys Police Station this morning, allegedly claiming over $550,000 in Covid and bushfire relief payments.

Nepean Police Area Command’s strike force Landa identified between February and October 2020 the man allegedly lodged a number of fraudulent payment applications worth over $550,000 – with $85,500 of the applications successful.

The payments were lodged through various charitable organisations and NSW Government disaster relief payment schemes, designed for victims of bushfire and COVID-19.

Following extensive inquiries, about 7am today, (Monday 1 November), police arrested a man at an address on Pellatt Place, Emu Plains.

He was taken to St Mary’s Police Station, where he was charged with 28 counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception (attempt), and 13 counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception (actual).

Police will allege in court, the man made 31 fraudulent applications to NSW Government relief schemes totalling $500,998; four of those applications worth $33,000 were granted. The additional $52,500 was fraudulently obtained through applications to three charitable organisations.

He was refused bail to appear at Penrith Local Court today.

Picture: NSW Police

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