Fraudulent firefighter claims $190k in bushfire relief funds

Anastasia Santoreneos
·1-min read
Firefighter putting hands up for fire fighting.
Fraudulent firefighter claims $190k in bushfire relief funds. Source: Getty

NSW police have charged a Lithgow woman, after they alleged she was posing as a volunteer firefighter to claim bushfire relief funds of nearly $200,000.

Police allege the 49-year-old submitted 522 applications for the bushfire volunteer firefighter payment between 17 January 2020 and 20 June 2020, and was paid for 34.

Under this scheme, each volunteer could claim up to $6,000. The woman claimed more than $190,000.

Detectives executed a search warrant at her home in Lithgow earlier this week, and arrested the woman, who has never been a volunteer firefighter, at the scene.

They also seized several items, including clothing, electrical items and identification.

She has since been charged with 34 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, and four counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception (attempted),

The woman has been granted strict conditional bail, and will appear before the Lithgow Local Court on 28 January 2021.

Want to hear Australian influencers reveal their best finance tips? Join the Broke Millennials Club on Facebook, and receive one hot tip per day in December.

And if you want 2021 to be your best (financial) year yet, follow Yahoo Finance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Subscribe to the free Fully Briefed daily newsletter here.