Criminal Syndicate Allegedly Swindled Millions
An organised crime syndicate has allegedly used money from the National Disability Insurance Scheme to fund their lavish lifestyle.
After six months of investigations, NDIS Fraud Taskforce charged five people who allegedly targeted more than 70 people on disability plans.
Police said the group allegedly swindled more than $1 million from people with disabilities and their carers.
The accused were arrested at properties at Lurnea and Liverpool in Sydney's west after raids on Wednesday morning. Police seized a Porsche Cayenne, an Audi A3 and a Mercedes E63.
Police say the group allegedly claimed more than $1.1 million worth of benefits from National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants and their careers by operating three different providers registered under the Scheme.
The providers are Universal Group Australia, Reliance Disability Services and United Mission. The organisations offered services including nursing, cleaning, transport and home fit-outs to people supported by government-subsidised disability plans.
Police charged a 40-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman with obtaining a gain contrary to the criminal code and dealing with property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
Two men, aged 27 and 30, and a 27-year-old woman were charged with dealing with property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime.
A 22-year-old woman was issued with a court summons for allegedly providing false or misleading information.
"This is an organised criminal activity preying on those that society has chosen to help- it took money directly out of the pockets of NDIS participants, reducing their ability to obtain crucial assistance and services to help them lead their lives," AFP Acting Commander Mark McIntyre said in a statement.
Investigations continue into a further $2.6 million in payments the three providers received and allege the syndicate also tried to register another four NDIS providers.
Acting Commander McIntyre suggested police were hunting down other syndicates.
"Unfortunately this is not an isolated case, and we will continue to work with our task force partners to identify those preying on our needy and bring them to account for their selfish and despicable actions."
Five members of the syndicate will appear at Central Local Court on Thursday.
Contact Siobhan at firstname.lastname@example.org