Childcare fraud

HOMES in Georges Hall, Bass Hill and Chester Hill were raided by police and a crime syndicate dismantled as part of an investigation into family day care fraud.
It will be alleged the syndicate fraudulently claimed at least $3.8 million in payments annually.

Allegedly claiming millions
for ‘non-existent’ children

THE dismantling of a crime syndicate allegedly involved in multi-million dollar day care fraud, should serve as a warning to anyone participating in similar activities that police “are onto it and we’ll be coming for them”.

Arrest 18 but ‘tip of iceberg’

Police carried out more than 20 search warrants last Wednesday and charged 18 people, but say it is just the tip of the iceberg.

In July 2018, detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad and Organised Crime Squad, along with the Australian Government Department of Education and Training and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), established Strike Force Mercury to investigate the coordinated fraudulent activities targeting family day care operations.

The strike force has also been assisted by the NSW Department of Education and NSW Crime Commission.

Police will allege in court that the syndicate fraudulently claimed Commonwealth payments under the Child Care Subsidy schemes.

It will be alleged the syndicate fraudulently claimed at least $3.8 million in payments annually.

During the operation last Wednesday, a total of 18 people – including three men, aged 24, 40 and 49, and 15 women, aged between 21 and 44 – were arrested and taken to local police stations.

Three people, a 49-year-old Georges Hall man, a 43-year-old Bass Hill woman and a 44-year-old Sadleir woman, were charged with knowingly directing activities of a criminal group.

The 24-year-old man was later released pending further inquiries, while the other 14 people were charged with participating in a criminal group.

During the searches, police allegedly seized large volumes of documentation, including business records, a Range Rover, $35,000 cash, and two electronic control devices.

The Department of Education and Training also issued the business a ‘Notice of Immediate Suspension’.

State Crime Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, said the syndicate was operating an entirely illicit business.