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Centrelink High-Rollers Ordered to pay Back Millions

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Apr/16/2011

The Federal Government is ordering people caught losing huge amounts of money gambling while on Centrelink payments to pay back more than $9 million.

Through cross-referencing casino high-roller information with Centrelink customers, the Government has found more than 500 people who gambled thousands of dollars while receiving benefits.

Those caught have been ordered to pay back more than $9 million to the Government.

Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek says in many cases people gave Centrelink false information about their income or assets.

"It's also the case that some people may start out correctly in receipt of benefits and then their circumstances change, they return to work for example but they don't tell Centrelink that their circumstances have changed," she said.

Ms Plibersek says some of the offenders were found to be laundering money for criminals.

"We don't understand how someone whose on new start or a disability support pension or an aged pension can afford to put $200,000 or $300,000 through a casino," she said.

"It often means someone has undeclared income or undeclared assets or they're engaged in a criminal enterprise of money laundering."

Source:  ABC News Australia

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