Bushfire Con Artists Sally Lynch, Carmel Begun jailed

Disgusting low life Bushfire victim fraudsters Sally Lynch, 56, and Carmel Begun, 69, jailed…Big deal you think?  How many rorted the generosity of Aussie’s and the government and have not been caught by the free and easy set-up that allowed these thieves to steal multiple claims, many many times, over and over again. Yet others,  many many months later, are stuck, entwined in red tape trying to get their lives in order??? These bloody women after stealing from bushfire victims will go to jail and yet again live the free life at our expense…Does that piss you off ?

It damn well annoys the crap out of me, they barely got 6 months each. Poor bloody pensioners will probably never pay it back when they get out either, getting back on the dole or pension down the road…

OPINIONS more than welcome

Sally Lynch, bushfire victims fraudster

Sally Lynch, poor unfortunate smackhead thief of Bushfire funds

TWO women were jailed today for ripping off $60,000 in Commonwealth emergency assistance meant for Black Saturday bushfire victims.

Judge Roy Punshon told Sally Lynch, 56, and Carmel Begun, 69, emergency funds for people whose lives were devastated by bushfires depended on a high degree of public trust.

The County Court judge said the pair created a number of fictitious identities to scam the funds and exploited the fact that little or no identification was required from people who had lost everything.

“Both of you capitalised on this,” he said.

He jailed Lynch, of Sandringham, who was the instigator of the thefts, for 13 months and Begun, of Port Melbourne, for six months. Disgusting and totally insufficient for their crimes…Is this what the community expects?

Judge Punshon said he took into account that both women had multiple health problems and both had been addicted to heroin for most of their adult lives.

Related Coverage

The court previously heard the women attended the Whittlesea recovery centre and Centrelink offices to claim emergency payments ranging from $1000 to more than $5000 at a time.

The Commonwealth disaster recovery payments were made available to survivors immediately after the fires, which claimed 173 lives.

Lynch pleaded guilty to nine charges of dishonestly obtaining Commonwealth property and three charges of attempting to obtain Commonwealth property.

The total she obtained was $29,074.

Begun pleaded guilty to four counts of dishonestly obtaining Commonwealth property and one count of theft.

The total she obtained was $31,796.

Judge Punshon said Lynch had a successful production career in television, working on The Sullivans and Sons and Daughters but had to move to Sydney to escape her drug problems.

When she returned to Melboure she became pregnant at the age of 44 but her daughter died five years ago of leukemia.

The judge said Begun had chronic lung disease and heart problems after an addiction to heroin dating back to her early 20s and her life expectancy was two to five years. Who gives a shit, we all have problems…

Earlier Court hearings revealed from 24/02/11

Addicts rorted bushfire fund

February 24, 2011

Two elderly heroin addicts stole just over $60,000 from Centrelink by falsely claiming they were victims of the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday bushfires, a court has heard.

Sally Frances Lynch, 56, of Sandringham and Carmel Begun, 69, of Port Melbourne kept a dossier of addresses in Kinglake, Pheasant Creek and Kinglake West as well as bank account details, benefit payment dates and the location of several Centrelink offices so that they could “keep their story straight” with Centrelink.

The friends are now liable to repay about $30,000 each to Centrelink, the Victorian County Court was told.

Lynch pleaded guilty to nine counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception, and three counts of attempting to dishonestly obtain property by deception while Begun pleaded guilty to four counts of dishonestly obtaining property by deception and one count of theft.

Judge Roy Punshon was told this morning that Lynch and Begun falsely told Centrelink on several occasions that they were victims of the bushfires.

Prosecutor Andrew Sprague said they told officers that their homes had been destroyed or damaged or that they were unable to work because of bushfire damage, the court heard.

Lynch and Begun successfully applied for a one-off $1000 payment as well as the Income Recovery Subsidy Assistance at several Centrelink offices including Cheltenham, Darebin, Port Melbourne and at the Whittlesea Recovery Centre, as well as over the phone.

Mr Sprague said the subsidy assistance was an ex-gratia payment to help employees, farmers and small business operators who lost income directly from the bushfires.

Centrelink later made checks of its books, and found that several payments that Begun and Lynch had applied for were being paid to similar bank accounts. The two friends used false names for each payment. In total, Begun dishonestly obtained $31,796.72 and Lynch obtained $29,074.52.

Mr Sprague said that when interviewed by federal police officers, Begun said that she used the money to buy heroin to which she has been addicted for 40 years.

Lynch said she used the money to support her daily heroin habit.

Mr Sprague said that Begun told police that she didn’t usually commit crime to support her drug habit, but when it was suggested how easy it would be to get the money, she used more and more heroin as she got more money.

The plea hearing continues.

And here is the sweet old lady, Carmel Begun, fighting to save the trees…. (her photo is above, I have not added the story pic here, to protect the other innocent residents)

ANGRY Port Melbourne residents are demanding Port Phillip Council scrap plans to chop down 19 trees in their street.

A Clifford St public housing resident  said the trees were an important aspect of the street.

At a council meeting in September, councillors decided to remove 144 of the area’s hills fig trees, which they said lifts footpaths and causes damage to infrastructure.

The resolution followed the presentation of a petition in August requesting the removal of the trees in Beacon Vista because root systems had caused damage.



15 thoughts on “Bushfire Con Artists Sally Lynch, Carmel Begun jailed

  1. who the hell gives a toss if these crusty, old hags are suffering – lung disease, heroin addiction….cry me a river!!!!! what an outrage….this pair of repulsive crackheads expected a community that lost every thing & was mourning an incomprehensible loss of life, to basically support their self inflicted drug habit. totally agree with the above comments – would have been a better outcome if the junkies had just OD instead… the judge has ruled their actions as THEFT,thus the lighter sentance that is imposed as opposed to fraud…


  2. I have known Carmel for 30 odd years and she has never done anything like this before. She is a kind, clever caring person. I know what she did was very wrong and totally out of charactor for her, she is the last person I would have thought would do something lile this.
    It’s easy for you all to sit on your computers putting her down but I can asure you that Carmel feels really ashamed over this.
    Maybe if herion was legalized we wouldn’t be reading about people doing desperate things like this.


    • Hi Queenie, I give everybody a say here, so thanks for your opinion. She may be a great friend, but this to me came down to greed.

      When the news spread about how easy it was her and people like her could not help their greedy little fingers from dialing, and perpetuating the fraud over and over. It has nothing to do with heroin at all. To suggest it be legalised is outrageous, and the believe it would reduce crime is a nonsense.

      But that is just my opinion thanks for yours. She is ashamed because she got caught, not because she did it. Was she going to feel all bad inside and hand it back some day out of guilt? No she would most likely commit the same fraud next time some “Free money came along”

      Finally as someone who has known her for 30 years, have you tried to help her off heroin? Or turned a blind eye? anyway, using the addiction as an excuse is ridiculous…

      All the best


      • Hey Robbo,

        Thinking about contributing to your blog since you say you can’t keep up with all the WORTHY items in need of coverage…and debate. First, tho, your coverage and the ensuing responses to this particular (newsworthy?) item raise a few questions for me.
        1. Perhaps an editor or proofreader would serve your blog site better? Do you have time to read a book, or respond to the grammar lines that come up when (or is it if?) you do a simple spell check. I’m not taking the piss, I’m serious. If you want to offer credible reportage or coverage, this is basic! The Hun manages to get its basic English correct..well, most of the time. Or perhaps, it’s more of a premature ejaculatory, knee jerk type of blog that you want to offer, not logical and considred opinions,sometimes even supported by FACTS, or. in lieu, well reasoned logic? iThe coverage is full of mistakes in spelling, oxymorons, ( and i don’t mean what appear to be the majority of those who bother to reply!) non-sequiturs and other assorted grammatical crimes that undermine the general credibililty of your blog ( in my opinion).

        2. As you say in response to Queenie, who at least puts a name to her reply unlike most, it’s just your opinion. How do you form these? From a Gut feeling or Information, both statistical and factual? I agree with your basic reply on this particular event but find your further reponses confused and, frankly, inexplicable. Why is it “outrageous” to consider regulation of this dangerous drug or a nonsense to bellieve that to do so could reduce crime. (The data IS in, Robbo – from all over this mad, greedy world of ours. Regulation WORKS! To save you the time and trouble just think of Alcohol Prohibition in 1930’s America, when it was controlled by Organised Crime, (in that instance La Famiglia/The Mafia) and contrast it to now…with regulation etc.

        3. Really not sure what to make of your Blog. There is DEFINATELY a need for exposure of true-crime and hiding in a suit/uniform or behind a veneer of respectability shouldn’t (but often does) protect the perps. In this example, a couple of older women were treated in a positively medieval manner by your readers in general: town square stocks and hurling rubbish? Wishing them DEAD by over-dose? A hundred dead at the bottome of the ocean is a good start….The person who doubted they spent the money on smack “supposedly” was doubly amusing or irritatingly ignorant, depending on one’s viewpoint. Do you see ANY place for FACTS (info or education) in your exposure or is it purely reactionary? Were you aware that two others had already been prosecuted for the same crime, but as these cases didn’t attract the publicity desired by the D.P.P. a couple of handy scapegoats were found – junkies are always useful targets for self-righteous indignation and judgement; generally due to the misinformation and ignorance surronding the issue.

        Hope you have time to bang a reply out. I’m genuinely interested in contributing and the broad aims you state as your goals (which by definition must include dissemination of accurate information etc) I am in sympathy with. But…..?

        3.Is it not Greed that motivates alot, nay MOST, crime? Wether junkies scamming or coppers robbing or pollies and other suits rorting….



  3. As someone who was affected by the bushfires (and still is) for someone to try and blame drugs for commiting a crime – and then say “I’m sorry” Doesn’t wash with me.
    Over 40 people that I know DIED that day.
    I don’t care if $10 was stolen or $10,000 a crime WAS committed and the person committing the crime has to pay.
    The only person lower than a plain old thief like above is looters.
    Looters should be hung out to dry – or at least put in the town square and hvae rotten fruit and vegetables thrown at them.
    I abhor thieves at the best of time – but to come out and prey at a time like that – makes me wonder where the human race is headed


  4. Hey, please dont think that in anyway I condone what Carmel did.
    Black Sayurday hit on my birthday and I like the rest of the state was so heart broken for all the lives lost and devestation. I am very dissapionted with what Carmel did and didnt know about it untill it came to court.
    To answer your question regarding did I turn a blind eye to the addiction. Well Carmel is an old friend of my mum’s so although I knew when I got a bit older that she had a drug problem I wasn’t really old enough to help her out.
    And I think your wrong about legalizing herion, but lets agree to disagree.
    After all this is a sensitive matter. I just feel that Carmel is doing her time and she does feel ashemed so lets not kick a person when their down.


    • Hi Queenie, appreciate the fact you came back to respond. All I want to say, was basically said in your last sentence, “Let’s not kick a person when they are down.” That is exactly what your friend did. I’m sure you do not condone what she did, who would? I assumed you were near her age as a friend in relation to my query, obviously a friend of your mum’s or family…Fair enough…


  5. its not about the drug addiction – its the fact that these low lifes lied, stole and manipulated a community in the grips of a horrific tragedy.. they made a profit from other peoples loss.. the jail sentance is a disgrace. and, queenie – your theory into the legalisation of heroin is amusing!


  6. I am deeply annoyed with these women for doing what they did. I feel for their families that have to deal with the embarressment of what they have done. I know the mother of Sally and believe me when I say she never ever turned a blind eye to her daughters drug addiction. At some point in your life u have to become an adult and take responcibility for your own actions you can’t blame drugs or anyone for the stupid things you choose to do. And legalizing drugs is never going to solve the problem ever its just a stupid idea


    • Daphne again, awaiting moderation i expect, Robbo.
      How do you KNOW what kind of lives these women lived? Hire a P.I.? Know them? sounds like an assumption to me: a live (sic) of excuses on drugs….surely you’ve heard the saying about what happens if you assume? It makes an ass out of u and me. Are you an ass blogger for assess or a genuine guy attempting to address societal problems? i’m hoping its the latter, of course! Still, have to wonder. U’ve got my email, hope i get a reply. F.Y.I. Story I responded to was randomly selected within certain search parametres i set up. CHEERS. MAYBE we”ll have a beer, my shout. (and who or what’s Gravatar? hovering there watching a supposedly secure site????)


Post your thoughts here, then PRESS POST COMMENT button folks, cheers

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s