Carer pleads guilty

CASUAL bricklayer and full-time carer Charles Sivewright has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Commonwealth of $28,000.

Sivewright, 58, of East Lismore, pleaded guilty in the LismoreLocal Court last week to 15 counts of engaging in conduct to obtain a financial advantage from Centrelink.

The offences took place between August 2004 and September 2008. He faces a maximum penalty of 12 months’ jail and a $6600 fine on each charge.

Commonwealth documents before Magistrate Nicholas Reimer stated the offences arose out of Sivewright’s failure todeclare his income while hereceived 89 fortnightly carer payments.

At the time of the offences Sivewright only qualified for a partial carer payment because he was receiving an income from working as a casual bricklayer.

Sivewright, a carer for his wife, had been receiving the benefits since April 1994.

The Commonwealth asserted the casual bricklayer had been under an obligation to inform Centrelink of all changes in his income.

He did not reveal his income in a Centrelink questionnaire sent to him in 2005.

The Commonwealth carer payments had continued in 2007.

The matter was adjourned to April 19 for sentence.

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