Man arrested over Covid-19 relief fraud in the Hunter region

A man will face court this morning charged with $50,000 worth of alleged COVID-19 relief fraud in the Hunter region.

Police established Strike Force Cumulaus earlier this year to investigate suspected fraud of Commonwealth and Service NSW money for COVID-19 relief for businesses and individuals.

Officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District attended a home at Shoal Bay on Government Road at about 1pm yesterday and arrested a 37-year-old man.

Police executed a search warrant and allegedly seized two cannabis plants, methamphetamine, unregistered pistol/gel blaster, a baton and numerous electronic devices.

The man was charged with with five counts of Commonwealth fraud and eight counts of NSW state fraud as well; he was also slapped with a Firearms Prohibition Order.

He was refused bail to face Raymond Terrace Local Court this morning. 

Port Stephens-Hunter Police District Crime Manager Detective Inspector Mitch Dubojski said the man actively participated in obtaining money he wasn’t entitled to and they expect to make more arrests. 

“The Strike Force is ongoing and I do anticipate there will be further arrests in relation particularly to the Service NSW frauds, there are a number of events that are still subject to the inquiries under Strike Force Cumulaus,” he said.

“I’d like to thank and praise members of the community and particularly my detectives attached to Port Stephens-Hunter. It’s been a very long, protracted investigation and I’m very pleased with the results we’ve achieved so far.”

“It’s very disappointing that people in the community have taken advantage of the situation when there’s people in the community who actually need that assistance from the government and we’re committed to investigating those matters where we can alleged those funds have been obtained fraudulently.”

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