Woman accused of $100k NDIS fraud
A WOMAN who took advantage of a service designed to help the country's most vulnerable has been charged after a very significant discrepancy alerted authorities of her alleged criminal behaviour.
Police allege Joanne Rogers, 45, of Bundaberg, defrauded close to $109,000 from the National Disability Insurance Scheme, where she was operating as a service provider at the time.
The alleged attempt to defraud the NDIS will land her in court, after her home was raided in a joint operation between the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Police Service, on the behalf of the NDIS Fraud Taskforce.
The three month investigation identified long-running alleged fraudulent activity, which the NDIS Taskforce believe was carried out by the woman between the months of August 2018 and November 2019.
The Taskforce identified three affected Queensland NDIS participants.
In a statement, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) said they take a zero tolerance approach to fraud against the NDIS and its participants.
"The NDIA would like to reassure participants, their families and carers that Taskforce activities are the result of work by a range of agencies committed to preventing, identifying and investigating fraud, and we will not tolerate the misuse of funds intended to support people with disability," the statement said.
This is one of several arrests by the NDIS Taskforce since it was established by the Australian Government in July 2018.
Late last year the Taskforce charged a Bendigo man with eight offences of allegedly attempting to defraud the Scheme of close to $500,000, while earlier last year they charged a Sydney syndicate who are alleged to have swindled the NDIS of more than $1.1 million dollars.
Australian Federal Police manager (criminal assets and fraud and anti-corruption) Acting Commander Mark McIntyre said the alleged fraudulent activity preyed on the intended and needy recipients, had been disadvantaged as a result of the alleged criminal behaviour.
"This is an organised criminal activity preying on those that society has chosen to help," Cdr McIntyre said.
"(The actions) took money directly out of the pockets of NDIS participants, reducing their ability to obtain crucial assistance and services to help them lead their lives.
"Unfortunately this is not an isolated case, and we will continue to work with our Taskforce partners to identify those preying on our needy and bring them to account for their selfish and despicable actions."
The NDIS urges anyone with concerns that fraud is being committed against the Scheme to contact the NDIS fraud hotline on 1800 650 717.