The 35-year-old woman has been accused of submitting several false hardship claims from early 2019 on behalf of other people, in order to access superannuation payments of up to $10,000 each.
Inquiries by the Australian Federal Police, completed in partnership with the ATO-led Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT), have now led the woman to be charged with 31 counts of fraud.
The potential maximum penalty for these offences is seven years’ imprisonment.
The latest charges come after AFP investigators executed a search warrant at the woman’s High Wycombe home last May, where they seized several documents, $1,750 cash, ink-based business identification and certification stamps, and electronic devices.
ATO deputy commissioner and SFCT chief Will Day said the arrest was a testament to the strength of the SFCT.
“This arrest demonstrates the SFCT’s ability to deliver a whole-of-government response to target alleged criminal behaviour,” Mr Day said.
“It sends a clear message to the community that we do bring those who exploit the tax and super system to account for their actions. We have robust systems in place that stop this sort of crime — quickly, and decisively.”
AFP Detective Acting Inspector Peter Brindal said the agency would continue to work alongside the ATO and other Commonwealth and state partners to weed out those seeking to exploit government benefits.
“We want to send a message to those who try to take advantage of the systems designed to support those in need — you will be found and be held to account,” Mr Brindal said.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.