NSW police allege woman posed as firefighter to fraudulently claim $190,000 at Lithgow

A Lithgow woman has been charged after allegedly posing as a volunteer firefighter to claim relief funds of more than $190,000.

Detectives from Chifley Police District initiated inquiries after multiple submissions were allegedly made between Friday 17 January 2020 and Saturday 20 June 2020, applying for the bushfire volunteer firefighter payment.

Police will allege a 49-year-old woman submitted 522 claims online and was paid for 34, for a total of more than $190,000.

Following inquiries, detectives executed a search warrant at a home on Calero Street, Lithgow, shortly after 9am on Wednesday (2 December 2020), and arrested the woman at the scene.

Several items – including clothing, electrical items and identification – were also seized.

The woman was taken to Lithgow Police Station where she has been charged with 34 counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, and four counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception (attempted).

She was granted strict conditional bail to appear before Lithgow Local Court on Thursday 28 January 2021.

Under this scheme, each volunteer could claim up to $6000.

The woman is not – and never has been – a volunteer firefighter.

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