Queensland women 38-year-old, Samantha Kissier was sentenced to six months imprisonment on 31 July 2017 for dishonestly obtaining $35,015.53 in single parenting payments over a period of three years and eight months. Ms Kisser has been ordered to repay Centrelink the amount of $31,318.53.
Between 9 January 2013 and 30 September 2016 whilst in receipt of Parenting Payment Ms Kissier repeatedly made false declarations to Centrelink, intentionally misrepresenting her true circumstances and making false declarations of her income she received from her employment as a catering support staff member at a nursing home.
Ms Kissier’s fraud was initially detected by Centrelink. On 8 February 2016, Centrelink sent a letter to Ms Kissier requesting historical payroll and employment details and placing her back on fortnightly reporting. Centrelink sent a further letter on 4 May 2017 advising Mr Kissier that an over payment had been raised against her due to the correct amount of earnings from her employer having not been taken into account in the payments made to her. Despite the interaction with Centrelink in February 2016 Ms Kissier continued to significantly under-declare her income for the remainder of the charge period. Ms Kissier did not attend a formal interview despite being requested to attend a ‘Principle Carer Compulsory Participation Interview’—a common process in place to allow recipients and Centrelink staff to review and confirm arrangements.
Ms Kissier has intermittently been in receipt of various welfare benefits since 1997.
Charge / Sentence
Ms Samantha Kissier was charged with:
- One count of obtaining financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity, contrary to section 135.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).
Following a guilty plea, on 31 July 2017 Ms Kissier was sentenced to six months imprisonment to be released after serving two months upon giving security by recognisance in the sum of $1,000 conditioned that she be of good behaviour for a period of two years.
Further order made pursuant to s21B of the Crimes Act 1914 for reparation of $31,815.53.
His Honour, Magistrate Young noted that while he had regard to her personal circumstances, including that Ms Kissier was a single parent of two children, one with special needs, he did not consider them exceptional circumstances. His Honour took into account Ms Kisser’s early plea of guilty and had regard to the significant amount involved, noting that it was toward the higher end, the maximum penalty available, that the offending occurred over a 3 year 8 month period, and that she under declared her income on 66 occasions including 12 occasions where she declared NIL.
To obtain the full judgment in this matter contact the relevant court.