Court Places Woman On 226-Year Repayment Plan After Stealing Benefits
When you're caught stealing, courts can hand down a bunch of punishments dependent on how bad the theft was.
If you flogged a Freddo Frog from the corner store, you'll likely be given a slap on the wrist if it's your first offence. If you steal a car then you can best expect, at least, to be fined or even chucked in prison for a couple of months.
But if you steal from Centrelink, Australia's welfare agency, then you'll likely have to pay back nearly every dollar you stole. Sounds pretty fair right?
Well, it seems like the courts have been pretty lenient to one Aussie woman after she was caught rorting the system of $91,000. Ikraam Mohamud didn't tell the government's welfare agency that she was working at multiple childcare companies while also claiming single-parent benefits.
According to the Herald Sun, the Melbourne woman was making withdrawals of up to $2,000 a day, however the courts weren't able to find out what the money was being spent on.
"There's no evidence you spent the money wrongly received by you, to live some lavish lifestyle," Judge Richard Smith said.
"The withdrawals are unexplained.
"Your offending was deliberate, extended in excess of four years and it involved a substantial amount of money. It is extremely unlikely you would not have been fully aware of your responsibilities to declare any income to Centrelink."
The 31-year-old managed to keep up the ruse between 2011 and 2017 before she was caught by authorities.
She was sentenced to two years behind bars however will only spend three months in jail, on the condition of good behaviour. Once she's released she'll be placed on several living conditions and if she breaks them she'll be fined $2,000 and will have to be re-sentenced.
But in addition to the prison term, she was ordered to pay back $88,000, an act that Judge Richard Smith said would take 'many years'.
People have been doing the math and it seems like it's going to take the woman a long time to repay her debt.
She has been told to pay it back at a rate of $15 a fortnight, meaning it will take nearly 226 years to complete the repayment.
We know that Australia is has an aging population, but we doubt she'll be alive to see this out unless she's paying more than the minimal amount. In the words of that guy from Taken: "Good luck."
Featured Image Credit: Channel 9