A Medicare employee has used his access privileges to hack into a database of deceased persons to claim more than $300,000 in false Baby Bonus payments, allege the Australian Federal Police.
The man, 33, from Perth was arrested Thursday morning by the AFP. The investigation into his activities was jointly supported by Centrelink.
According to the police statement, the AFP will allege in court that “the man used his position as a Medicare Australia employee to access the Centrelink records of deceased persons to obtain encrypted Tax File Numbers (TFNs)".
"It will then be alleged that the man used the TFNs to create 23 false claims for Baby Bonus and immunisation payments for 58 fictitious children which were then paid into his bank account.”
The man was charged with 23 counts of abuse of public office under Section 142.2, which carries a maximum jail term of five years; 23 counts of obtaining advantage by deception under Section 134.2, which has a maximum 10 year jail term; and two counts of money laundering under Section 400.4 and 400.6 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995. The maximum penalty for the money laundering offences is 20 years imprisonment and/or a $132,000 fine.