Whitsundays woman accused of $74k Centrelink fraud

A FORMER Whitsundays woman is facing trial after allegedly receiving $74,000 in welfare payments she was not entitled to.

Barbara Ann Moody pleaded not guilty on Monday in Brisbane District Court to one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Crown prosecutor David Henschell told the court the alleged offending took place between October 13, 2009 and April 8, 2013.

He said Ms Moody, who used to work in former Whitsundays MP Jan Jarratt's electoral office, failed to inform Centrelink on numerous occasions she had actually returned to full-time work and continued collecting welfare benefits.

"She initially received a Newstart payment but provided Centrelink with a medical certificate which said she was unfit for work and she was moved onto a disability support pension," he said.

"She deliberately misled Centrelink into believing she was not in receipt of any form of income during this period, when in fact, she was working at, and receiving an income in the form of a wage, from St Patrick's College at Shorncliffe.

"Centrelink records show Ms Moody did not declare any of this income.

"As a result of not declaring her income she was overpaid $74,000.03 in benefits she was not entitled to receiving."

Defence barrister Peter Hanlon-Harris told the jury the onus was on the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt.

He said Ms Moody does not deny or dispute the fact she received welfare benefits or a wage from St Patrick's College during this period.

But he said she does dispute the allegation she obtained the benefits through deception.

The trial before Judge Brad Farr continues.


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