Man accused of faking hardship story to obtain $60,000 from drought relief fund

A MAN in outback Queensland has been arrested and charged with 41 fraud offences after allegedly falsifying documents in order to obtain more than $60,000 in drought relief money.

The 41-year-old Cunnamulla man was arrested by rural Major and Organised Crime Squad detectives on Thursday.

Police allege the man falsified and submitted documents in order to receive drought assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


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The Department, who administers the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme, referred the matter to Queensland Police in November.

Following his arrest, the man was yesterday charged with 41 offences, including five counts of fraud, 18 counts of forgery, and 18 counts of uttering a false document.

Detective Inspector Troy Pukallus said the allegations were serious.

“This is a tough time for farmers and those impacted so heavily by the drought,” he said.

“We take offences like this quite seriously as it has the potential to effect those who genuinely need and deserve this assistance.”

The 41-year-old man is due to appear in St George Magistrates Court on January 22.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

Jaydan is a Digital News Producer at myGC.com.au. He was appointed Managing Editor of the Junee Southern Cross newspaper at the age of 17 and has since held positions in a number of newsrooms in New South Wales and Queensland. Jaydan joined the Hot Tomato Broadcasting Company in 2013 and has been keeping the Gold Coast up to date with the latest local, national and international news online at myGC.com.au ever since. With almost ten years’ experience in both print and digital media Jaydan is committed to providing the best coverage during major news and weather events.

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