Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Defrauding the Commonwealth results in jail time

Date of Publication: 
18 October 2018

A retired 69-year-old Melbourne Man, John McNally appeared before the County Court of Victoria today and was sentenced four years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of two and a half years for defrauding and deceiving the Commonwealth for financial advantage. The total proven amount defrauded was $243,875.26

Mr McNally claimed and received Newstart payments in the name of John Gerald McNally, whilst in receipt of Disability Support Pension payments in the name of Gerald McNally from 1997 to 2015.

In August 1997, whilst already receiving the Disability Support Pension under the name of Gerald McNally, the offender lodged a claim for the Newstart Allowance in the name of John Gerald McNally with a different year of birth.

Mr McNally was granted Newstart payments from August 1997 until January 2014. In January, Mr McNally turned 65 years of age and was transferred from Newstart to the Age Pension.

From January 2014, Mr McNally received Age Pension payments, until they were cancelled in November 2015 as a result of an investigation. 

By claiming these payments, the offender defrauded the Commonwealth by knowingly making a claim for Newstart by containing false statements, and concealing the fact that he was already receiving the Disability Support Pension under another identity. This then enabled the Mr McNally to access the Newstart and Age Pension payments that he was not entitled to.

Mr McNally was initially detected by a data match with the Australian Taxation Office and following a search of his home, a number of documents were found in the name of John (or J) McNally and Gerald (or Gerry or G) McNally. Investigators also found $51,400 in cash.

The offender has repaid $2,019.20, and has consented to forfeiture of the $51,400, which produces a figure of $190,456.06 outstanding.

Mr McNally will be eligible for parole in April 2021.

CDPP Media contact: communications@cdpp.gov.au or 02 6206 5708.