A man could face a prison sentence after pleading guilty to providing false claims to Centrelink.
A man could face a prison sentence after pleading guilty to providing false claims to Centrelink. Jarred Sferruzzi

False Centrelink reports could land man in prison

A MAN who received more than $16,500 from false claims to Centrelink has been told he will go to prison for committing the offences while on probation.

Matthew Steven Dawes, 29, originally from Gympie, faced the Mackay Magistrates Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining financial advantage.

The court was told by prosecutor Renee Guilfoyle the qualified chef had falsely reported his earnings to Centrelink during two periods spanning from November 2, 2013 to Feb 18, 2014, and May 12, 2014 to June 20, 2015.

Ms Guilfoyle said Dawes had undertaken casual work in Gympie during the two periods, yet had reported to Centrelink over 32 fortnights either a 'nil' or incorrect income.

In total, Dawes received an incorrect payment amount of $16,607.88.

Ms Guilfoyle told the court the false reports were only discovered by an internal review by Centrelink on May 21, 2015 and while it had sent a letter to Dawes for an interview three months later, he never responded.

The review found Dawes' combined income during the periods was a gross amount of $39,343.46, which averaged $1036 a fortnight in the first instance, and $1361 in the second.

She also raised Dawes' criminal history, highlighting a previous conviction which led to a probation order imposed on January 30, 2014. She told the court the offences were in breach of his probation.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer remanded Dawes in custody for sentencing on June 1, but told him: "Mr Dawes, you are going to prison".



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