Truckie cheats taxpayers out of $27K with Centrelink scam

A TRUCKIE is behind bars after cheating the Australian taxpayer out of more than $27,000.

The Ipswich man was employed as a professional driver with various trucking companies, yet lied to the Department of Human Services to falsely claim unemployment benefits.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard 57-year-old Wayne Rogers received $27,335.95 in Centrelink overpayments over a four-year period.

Rogers was getting his truck-driving wages paid into the same personal NAB account while receiving government benefits.

Wayne Rogers, from One Mile, pleaded guilty to five separate Commonwealth fraud offences that occurred between November 21, 2012, and December 28, 2016.

Magistrate David Shepherd sentenced Rogers to nine months' jail and ordered he repay the $27,335.95 still outstanding.

Mr Shepherd ordered Rogers to serve two months of the nine-month sentence then be released on a $1000 good behaviour bond, to be of good behaviour for two years.

Defence lawyer Zara Rudan said Rogers was working and may have the capacity to pay the money.

The federal prosecutor said Rogers was caught out by the Australian Taxation Office during a data match.

Rogers was sent an official letter in June 2016 but his offending continued.

The ATO sent out another letter in November 2017 - to have a meeting with Rogers - but this did not occur.

The federal prosecutor said Rogers received $83,218.81 gross from his employment but declared nil gross to the department. In that time, he received $31,351.18 in social security payments but was eligible to receive only $4,015.23.

The court heard Rogers falsely claimed $5285 between November 2012 and March 2013, then another $7759 between October 2013 and May 2014; and $13,321 between February 2016 and December 2016. Lesser amounts were falsely claimed on other dates.