Mother of six caught out in $71,000 Centrelink fraud
FOR A brief period of time, life was terrific for an Ipswich mum of six.
There was a honeymoon in Hawaii, family trips to Vanuatu and America, a new seven-bedroom house, and a successful IVF program that delivered her twins.
There was an elephant in the room, however, in the form of a significant $71,000 Centrelink fraud.
Amanda Jane Greensill (married name Page), 40, from Brassall, will spend Christmas in jail, after admitting to defrauding the Commonwealth of $71,602.71 in Ipswich District Court this week.
Commonwealth prosecutor Aimee Sanderson said Greensill's crime was committed during a 3 ½ year period between April 2013 and November 2016.
Ms Sanderson said Greensill was married in August 2013 at the Watermark Hotel on the Gold Coast, and conceived twins born through IVF in June 2014.
Greensill previously received disability support and single-parenting payments for three older children from a previous marriage.
She declared her new relationship with Mr Page and had been assessed to receive no payments because of his earnings.
But in April 2013 she claimed the relationship ended and Mr Page was now living elsewhere.
"But he was living at her sister's home," Ms Sanderson said.
"It was misleading as she remained in a relationship with Mr Page, and in August 2013 they were married."
The couple sold a property, then bought a block of land at Brassall and built a seven-bedroom home.
Ms Sanderson said she moved into the new house in June 2015 but did not notify the department of the new address.
During the period in which she falsely claimed benefits, Greensill and Mr Page held joint bank accounts, joint insurance, and travelled overseas on family holidays.
"It was a deliberate course of conduct to conceal her marriage," Ms Sanderson said.
In submission on penalty before Judge Dennis Lynch QC, defence barrister Tony Kimmins sought to have Greensill serve minimal jail time.
He said Greensill had attended 29 psychological counselling sessions and suffered a disability to her hands since birth.
She had two failed relationships with three children from her second marriage, and three more in her third marriage to Mr Page. Mr Kimmins said Greensill was the primary care giver with her husband working at Laidley. Her six children were aged between three and 13.
"The situation is Mr Page will have to resign from his work. They don't have anyone to look after their six children. They won't be thrown out on the street," Mr Kimmins said.
Judge Lynch said Greensill's fraud amounted to receiving $400 a week and she deliberately misled the department.
He acknowledged that jail would be hard on Greensill's family, that there had been stresses in her life, and that she was sorry for what she did.
Judge Lynch said the offending was serious as it caused significant losses to the government, and was not related to need, "but more to provide your family with a better lifestyle".
"Such offending is a blight on the system that relies on honesty," he said.
Greensill was sentenced to two years' jail, to serve three months.