Centrelink catches ?cash? cheats

CENTRELINK says it will continue to clamp down on undeclared cash-in-hand work following a swoop of Woolgoolga's banana industry this week.

Centrelink area cash economy team leader, Robert Crouche, said 13 people had their payments cancelled or suspended on the spot.

"An extra six cases are under further investigation, after Centrelink investigators and NSW Police conducted walk-ons at locations in Woolgoolga," he said.

"The operation is expected to save taxpayers an estimated $91,000.

"It was prompted after intelligence and previous field experience indicated a high risk of Centrelink customers working in the cash economy.

"Centrelink's Cash Economy teams investigate cash economy activity across the whole of Australia.

"We conduct regular operations across a number of industries, including hospitality, taxis, fishing, building and harvesting.

"Centrelink encourages our customers to find employment, but they have an obligation to correctly inform Centrelink about any income earned from employment.

"Income from em-ployment impacts on a customer's entitlements. As custodian of the public purse, Centrelink has a duty to ensure customers are receiving their correct entitlements.

"A major intelligence-gathering tool that often leads to launching these operations is information gained from members of the public through Centrelink's Reportafraud facility."

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