Accused fraudster ‘pretended relative killed in bushfires

Accused fraudster ‘pretended relative killed in bushfires

20 February 2009

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Australia — A woman has been charged with fraud after she allegedly claimed to have lost a relative in the Victorian bushfires.

Police allege the 31-year-old woman from the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine tried to claim the $10,000 bereavement grant from the bushfire appeal fund and a $5,000 payment from Centrelink’s funeral fund.

It is alleged she claimed one of the men killed in the fires was her father.

The claim was denied after the appeal’s checking processes found she was not related to a deceased man.

She has been charged with obtaining property by deception and attempting to obtain property by deception.

The woman has been released on bail and is expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in April.

The chairman of the fund, John Landy, has assured people who have made donations, that careful checks are in place to protect the money.

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