7 years jail for defrauding Australian Government $3.64 million

In the largest, single case of proven childcare fraud in Australia’s history, a 29 year old woman from Albury in New South Wales will face seven years in prison for falsely claiming nearly $3.5 million from the Federal Government.

Melissa Jade Higgins used the Government’s Special Child Care Benefit scheme to fraudulently claim $3.646,269.72 in child care benefits. She was also charged with forging documents and dealing with the proceeds of crime

The New South Wales District Court found Ms Higgins had made claims about 14 children who attended her child day care business, Aussie Giggles, in Albury – lying about when the children attended and the number of hours they’d been in her care, and claiming a much higher hourly rate than the standard rate charged by Aussie Giggles.


Higgins dealt with the proceeds of her crime by moving the millions of dollars between company and personal bank accounts.

She was sentenced to seven years imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years.