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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Woman charged over alleged COVID-19 support fraud

A woman will face Newcastle Local Court this weekend after being charged with alleged fraud regarding bushfire and COVID-19 support recovery grants.

Strike Force Roche was established by several police districts within the Northern Region to investigate fraudulent claims for bushfire disaster relief and small business grants through government agencies.

Police will allege in court that, between Thursday 12 March and Sunday 13 September, a woman, aged 31, fraudulently applied for 34 combined Bushfire and COVID-19 government grants.

A total of 11 were granted and she received $104,000.

Police will also allege the woman attempted to obtain a further $258,000 in grants, which she was not entitled to.

Following extensive inquiries, officers attended a home in Aberdare about 1.20pm on Friday 27 November, where they arrested the woman.

She was taken to Cessnock Police Station and charged with dishonestly obtain financial benefit by deception (x16).

The woman was refused bail and will appear in Newcastle Local Court on Saturday 28 November.

Investigations under the strike force are ongoing across multiple police districts in the Northern Region.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au

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