Embezzlement and Centrelink Fraud
A person who fraudulently embezzles some or part of any property in the possession of their employer is deemed to have stolen that property and is liable for that offending.
The maximum penalty for embezzlement is ten years imprisonment.
It may be a defence to the charge if you were acting under duress or honestly believed it was necessary to offend to avoid a threatened danger.
The prosecution must prove that you:
- acted dishonestly;
- were a clerk and / or an employee where the property was embezzled;
- received the property on account of your employer depriving them permanently of their property;
- embezzled the property.
Where the value of the property exceeds $5,000.00 the DPP or the accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court of South Australia. Where the value does not exceed $5,000.00 the DPP can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court of South Australia.
If you receive a benefit from the government dishonestly then you may be guilty of an offence.
The maximum penalty is $50,000 or imprisonment for 1 year. The maximum penalty for aiding and abetting is $10,000 or imprisonment for a year.
The prosecution must prove that you acted dishonestly or had knowledge that a statement or application was false or misleading.
You may have a defence to a fraud related charge if you can show a lack of intent, there is an identification dispute, or there is a mistake of fact.
These offences will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court of South Australia.