A South Coast woman who claimed $4800 from Centrelink she wasn't entitled to, failed to pay two real estate agents more than $11,000 in rent and sold items on eBay she never produced has escaped a jail term
Instead Louise Lyel, 54, was placed on a two-year community corrections order, meaning she can serve her sentence in the community rather than behind bars.
In Nowra Local Court on Tuesday, July 14 Lyel pleaded guilty to five counts of obtaining a financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity, one count of knowingly making a false or misleading statement and six counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
In actions described as deliberate, calculated dishonesty, Lyel claimed $4816.80 in over payments of rental assistance and Newstart from Centrelink, allegedly using fictitious landlords and fictitious addresses, to claim the money.
The court heard she has repaid that amount to the Commonwealth.
Lyel also pleaded guilty to using fake identification to rent accommodation from real estate agencies without paying, owing Ray White Real Estate Mollymook $4492.85 and LJ Hooker Ulladulla $7200.
She also pleaded guilty to failing to deliver two iPhones she sold over eBay for $1045, and two other items to separate victims for more than $900.
Nowra Magistrate Gabriel Fleming acknowledged Lyel had had a "difficult background" suffering "mental illness" and had "issues with alcohol".
The court heard those issues had led Lyel to homelessness, relationship breakdowns, unemployment and an itinerant lifestyle.
"But these are serious matters," Magistrate Fleming said.
"They show a degree of planning.
"When you take from the social welfare system you are taking from someone else in the community. If you're not entitled to it you shouldn't claim it.
"It's an offence against the entire community.
"There were also a number of victims, people who thought they were getting something from eBay and didn't.
"These are dishonest actions for your own financial gain because you were in financial difficulties. It's appalling.
"Financial need is not a reason to take something that is not yours."
Magistrate Fleming placed Lyel on a two-year community corrections order where she must also perform 150 hours of community service and ordered she continue drug and alcohol counselling and a treatment plan.
She was also ordered to repay LJ Hooker Ulladulla $7200, Ray White Real Estate Mollymook $3600 and each of her eBay victims.