A female fraudster, whose sister lied about having cancer, has been sentenced after conning more than $60,000 from Centrelink over a three-year period.
Despite defrauding the welfare agency out of the huge sum of taxpayer cash, Angela Dickinson avoided jail in June after she was found guilty of fraud and handed a community corrections order at Mildura Magistrates Court. She has also been ordered to pay back the five-figure sum that she stole.
Channel Nine tracked Dickinson, from Melbourne, down on Thursday night’s episode of A Current Affair however, and when asked to comment about the money she stole, the mum told the camera crew: “It’s none of your f***ing business.”
Dickinson was found to have made several false statements to Centrelink in which she lied about her income whilst working a number of different jobs, including one well-paid role on an offshore oil rig in Western Australia. She used the fraudulently claimed cash to fund holidays and a “comfortable” social life.
And it seems that conning people out of cash may be a family trait as the 36-year-old’s sister Hanna was caught lying about having terminal cancer earlier this year, after she fleeced more than $40,000 out of kind-hearted friends and family members.
Hanna wound up before a judge after she fabricated the story, telling her parents that she was suffering from cancer and claimed that treatment was failing, leaving her with only one option to travel to Germany to undergo expensive life-saving treatment.
Her worried parents then rallied round their cancer-stricken daughter and raised tens of thousands of dollars, thanks to the donations of loved ones, before discovering it was actually a cruel scam.
Discussing Angela’s crime, Federal MP Jason Wood said it was “straight-out theft”, telling the Channel 9 show: “If I’m angry, the Australian public will be absolutely outraged, when you have people ripping off Centrelink, ripping off fellow Australians, meaning other Australians in more need are missing out.”
One angry Twitter user commented on the story, saying: “I hate people that cheat Centrelink also I hate people that are on Centrelink and don’t do anything to get off it. My sister father is collecting money he shouldn’t be and I reported him to Centrelink and they have done nothing about it I reported it 2 months ago.”
Wood added: “As far as I’m concerned, you go to jail. That’s the message we need to send to anyone who wants to rip off Centrelink and the Australian people.”