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Two charged with bushfire-related fraud – South Coast

Two people have been charged following an investigation into bushfire-related fraud on the state’s South Coast.

In March 2020, detectives from South Coast Police District commenced an investigation into a group of people suspected of fraudulently obtaining bushfire assistance payments from a number of charities.

Following extensive inquiries, police executed two search warrants at homes in Surf Beach about 8am today (Thursday 18 June 2020).

Officers located and seized documents for examination.

A 47-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were arrested and taken to Batemans Bay Police Station.

The woman was charged with five counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

The man was charged with two counts of dishonesty obtain financial advantage by deception.

Both were refused bail and are due to face Wollongong Local Court via AVL tomorrow (Friday 19 June 2020).

Police will allege the group claimed in excess of $10,000 from these charities and made further attempts to claim an additional $20,000.

South Coast Police District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Scott Nelson said the arrests are the culmination of great work by local police.

“Our South Coast community has been devastated in recent months, and this type of crime – preying on vulnerable members of the community and abusing the good will of others – is absolutely abhorrent,” Detective Inspector Nelson said.

“We will continue to investigate bushfire-related crime and take action against those who choose to do the wrong thing.”

Investigations are continuing.

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