Grantham woman guilty of $142,763 flood fraud
GRANTHAM woman Christine Blackmore is facing up to 12 years in jail for three fraud-related charges arising from the 2011 floods.
After a "hung jury" at her initial trial in 2014, the Ipswich District Court found Blackmore guilty on Friday, July 17 of three fraud offences which occurred after the 2011 Grantham floods.
Blackmore was remanded in custody, awaiting sentencing after the court found her guilty of fraud in excess of $30,000, having dishonestly gained a total of $142,763.
The maximum sentence for fraud is 12 years jail time.
In addition, Blackmore was found guilty of forgery and uttering documentation which was provided to obtain the $142,763 from the Department of Communities after the floods.
Arresting officer Detective Senior Constable Trudi Flintham said an initial complaint made by the Department of Communities sparked the investigation more than two years ago.
Det Snr Const Flintham said the documentation, which included a forged rates notice, was provided to the Department of Communities to obtain the $142,763.
Minister for Communities Sharon Fentiman said flood funding was for those who needed it most.
"Payments from the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal were meant for Queensland flood victims in genuine need after the state's worst disaster in recorded history," Ms Fentiman said.
"If people are suspected of making fraudulent claims, it will be reported to police and the full weight of the law will be applied"
Ms Fentiman said the Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal was a charity that Queenslanders from all walks of life contributed their hard-earned cash to.
"They rightly expect it to go to those who are most in need," Ms Fentiman said.