NDIS Taskforce makes first arrest
The Federal Government established the National NDIS Fraud Taskforce in July to tackle potential fraud against the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Today we can announce that the taskforce has made a significant arrest.
A 34-year-old Victorian man has been charged for allegedly defrauding the NDIS of more than $400,000.
This week a joint team from the Taskforce including members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) executed a search warrant in the Melbourne suburb of Parkville.
Police seized a BMW 7 series limousine, a Toyota Hilux and designer clothing and jewellery believed to be purchased with the proceeds of the alleged fraud at the Parkville location where the man was arrested.
Police will allege that between July and August this year the man defrauded the NDIS of the funds and in so doing directly impacted the ability of over 200 NDIS participants to access ongoing support.
The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the arrest and charges should serve as a warning to anyone seeking to defraud the NDIS.
"The establishment of this Taskforce was a strong and unequivocal warning to those who may try to commit serious fraud against the NDIS," Mr Dutton said.
Parallel to the investigation, the NDIA worked to contact participants impacted by the alleged fraud.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said the Government was absolutely committed to ensuring the funding provided by Australian taxpayers went to supporting people with disability through the NDIS.
"Let this be a warning that we will continue to come down hard on anyone who thinks they can defraud the NDIS or other welfare agencies.
"The NDIA is ensuring that participants affected by this alleged fraud are having their funds reinstated in their plans."
Human Services and Digital Transformation Minister Michael Keenan said stealing from taxpayers is not a victimless crime.
"Fraud robs the Australian community of much needed funds that should be spent on essential services we all rely on."
"The staff from my department involved in the taskforce are experts in fraud detection and prevention and I commend them for the work they've done to bring about this arrest." Mr Keenan said.
The Fraud Taskforce is a multi-agency partnership between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Anyone with information about suspected fraud involving the NDIS should contact the Fraud Hotline on 1 800 650 717.