Man to face court for allegedly making $47,000 from fraudulent COVID grant claims

A man is set to face court on Tuesday for allegedly making fraudulent COVID-19 grants worth more than $47,000 using both his name and stolen identity information.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on Monday at a correctional facility in Silverwater and was charged with 118 offences.

A man allegedly claimed more than $47,000 worth of COVID-19 grants.

A man allegedly claimed more than $47,000 worth of COVID-19 grants. Credit: Edwina Pickles

Some of the offences included three counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, recklessly deal with proceeds of crime, 70 counts of possess identity information to commit indictable offence, 14 counts of use false document to obtain financial advantage and 22 counts of possess false document to obtain financial advantage.

Police will allege these applications were made in his name along with stolen identity information to claim $47,020 worth of COVID-19 grants in September 2021.

The man was refused bail to appear at Blacktown Local Court on Tuesday.

In November 2021, detectives attached to the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad and Sydney metropolitan regions established Strike Force Sainsbery to investigate fraudulent applications made against the NSW government financial relief schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.

Since that strike force was established, investigators have laid 1451 charges against 87 people for allegedly defrauding these schemes. All remain before the courts.

Service NSW’s fraud response unit is also assisting Strike Force Sainsbery.

Financial Crimes Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Gordon Arbinja, said investigations under Strike Force Sainsbery are continuing.

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