Centrelink fraudster who robbed taxpayers of $108,753 clutches a sequin cushion as a judge orders her to pay back EVERY last cent
- Queensland grandmother ordered by judge to pay back more than $108,753
- Karen Swartz wasn’t entitled to the carer payments she received for five years
- Judge has ordered the Maroochydore nurse to pay back the $108,753 she owes
A ‘deceitful’ welfare cheat who scammed taxpayers of almost $109,000 over five years has been ordered to pay it all back.
Karen Delores Swartz grimly clutched a gold sequined cushion as she arrived home on the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.
The grandmother walked free from court after being released on a good behaviour bond, but looked stony-faced as she contemplated a decade of repayments.
She failed to tell Centrelink she got a job as a nurse in 2014 while she was receiving a carer’s payment – and got away with receiving the benefit until a data match caught her out in 2018.
A ‘deceitful’ welfare cheat who scammed taxpayers of almost $109,000 over five years has been spotted grimly clutching a gold sequined cushion after being ordered to return the money
Grandmother Karen Delores Swartz looked stony-faced despite walking free from court after being released on a good behaviour bond on Wednesday
Maroochydore nurse Karen Delores Swartz, 59, (pictured) received almost $109,000 in government assistance she wasn’t entitled to between 2014 and and 2019
Swartz, 59, was sentenced to three years’ jail in the Maroochydore District Court, but was immediately released on a five-year good behaviour bond.
Her lawyer Mark Dixon said his client ‘buried her head in the sand’, and ignored dealing with the issue as she was suffering from depression, the Courier Mail reported.
She was caring for her elderly mother while also fighting her own mental health battles.
Mr Dixon added that if his client served jail time she would be forced to sell her home, which would have repercussions for her family.
Swartz received $108,753 in government assistance she wasn’t entitled to between January, 2014 and March 2019.
Judge Nathan Jarro described her actions as ‘greedy conduct’ and ‘deceitful’.
He highlighted the fact she had used a separate bank account where she was receiving additional income.
Because she has already repaid $4,729, she must must repay $104,024.56 – which would take around 10 years of fortnightly minimum repayments.
Swartz was sentenced to three years in jail for the crime.
She was detected after the Australian Taxation Office discovered she was still receiving payments she wasn’t entitled to because she was employed.
She failed to tell Centrelink she got a job as a nurse in 2014 while she was receiving a carer’s payment for looking after her elderly mother
Judge Nathan Jarro described Ms Swartz’s actions in defrauding the welfare agency as ‘greedy conduct’ and ‘deceitful’