WA Government ‘Building Bonus Grant’ Fraud Charges

This is a joint media release between WA Police Force and the Department of Finance
WA Police Force’s Financial Crimes Squad has charged a man in relation to alleged fraudulent conduct involving applications for the WA Government’s ‘Building Bonus Grant’.
Through the State Government’s Building Bonus program eligible homebuyers can apply to the WA Government, via the Department of Finance, for a grant of $20,000 when constructing a new residential home.
The Department of Finance carefully assess all applications received and have identified several suspicious applications. Those instances were subjected to further scrutiny and one referral was made to WA Police Force for further investigation, relating to applications submitted by one individual associated with three different companies and a Registered Builder.
Four of the man’s applications were successful and he received $80,000. The remaining five applications were suspended. All nine applications were referred to the Financial Crimes Squad for investigation.
Yesterday, Thursday 10 September 2020, Financial Crimes Squad detectives executed a search warrant at the man’s Subiaco office. A 39-year-old man from Scarborough has been charged with four counts of ‘Gains Benefit by Fraud’ and five counts of ‘Attempt to Gain Benefit by Fraud’. He is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 7 October 2020.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ken FOSTER, Officer in Charge of WA Police Force’s Financial Crimes Squad, said any suspected fraudulent claims for public monies will be investigated.
“Any attempt to defraud the WA Government by fraudulently claiming public funds is viewed as a serious criminal offence, and those responsible for such unlawful conduct can expect to be thoroughly investigated.
“There are strict eligibility requirements for the Building Bonus Grant and where it is established an applicant has intentionally provided false information, or created fraudulent documents to support a grant application, a criminal investigation will be conducted by the Financial Crimes Squad.
The Commissioner of State Revenue, Nicki Godecke said RevenueWA’s extensive intelligence systems are being used to verify evidence submitted with each grant application received to ensure the public funds are being directed to the right people.
“Where the information submitted is incomplete or inconsistent, RevenueWA will seek further evidence from the applicant to clarify the application.
“However, where it is believed there is an intentional attempt to mislead the WA Government, or where fraudulent documents are lodged in support of a grant application, the matter will be referred to WA Police Force for investigation.
“These fraudulent claims have resulted in the Building Bonus grant rules being changed to remove eligibility for a grant under consideration and future grants if misleading information is provided.
“The rule change will allow RevenueWA to refuse to pay the grant to a person, company or trust associated with an applicant who has provided misleading information.”
Information regarding the Building Bonus Grant, including the eligibility requirements is available on the Department of Finance Website – https://www.wa.gov.au/service/community-services/grants-and-subsidies/apply-new-home-construction-grant
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