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.