Two men charged after allegedly defrauding $360k from flood relief scheme

Beef Central, 18/01/2022

TWO Nortwest Queensland men have been charged after they allegedly accessed more than $360,000 through fraudulently claiming disaster assistance funding.

Detectives from the Cloncurry Major and Organised Crime Squad last year started investigating claims submitted to the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) for 2019 North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough grant schemes.

The investigation led to a search of a pastoral property near Cloncurry and several businesses in Mount Isa on December 15-16 – where police seized electronic documents. A 47-year old Mount Isa man and 71-year-old man, a resident of the pastoral property, have since been arrested and charged with two counts of fraud.

Police allege the men falsified and submitted documents and dishonestly gained funding from the Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants and the North Queensland Restocking, Replanting and On-farm Infrastructure Grant, both administered by QRIDA.

Following a physical inspection of the large pastoral property, police will further allege the claimed grant expenditures did not occur.

Police have laid an additional four charges against the 47-year-old man in relation to stealing and fraud offences as part of a separate MOCS Rural investigation into alleged stolen heavy earthmoving machinery.

MOCS Rural Detective Inspector Troy Pukallus said police were pleased with the outcome.

“These arrests are the culmination of over a year-long, intensive and extensive investigation and I would like to thank the investigators for their meticulous work,” Mr Pukallus said.

“Disasters can have significant and often tragic impacts on Queensland’s remote and rural communities. To identify and prosecute people who would take advantage of the support provided to help people in difficult times is a pleasing outcome.”

Both men are scheduled appear in the Mount Isa Magistrates Court on February 14.


Source: Qld Police Media














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