First conviction for JobKeeper fraud
A man has been convicted to 3 counts of making a false and misleading statement to receive $6,000 in JobKeeper payments.
In addition to the conviction, the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court fined Mr Raed Saleh $3,000 and ordered him to pay reparations of $3,000 and costs of $282.
Mr Saleh applied for and lodged JobKeeper claims online for May 2020 and June 2020. He declared to the ATO that he was a sole trader and had experienced a downturn of at least 30% for May and June. He also affirmed that his business met all the eligibility requirements, and that he had not agreed to be nominated by any other employer or entity.
In reality, Mr Saleh was not operating a genuine business and had already agreed to be nominated by his full-time employer for the JobKeeper payment. He received $3,000 from his false May 2020 claim, but the ATO stopped his June claim pending further investigation. He pleaded guilty to the charges after admitting to the ATO that he had not carried on a business as a sole trader.
Source: ATO, First criminal conviction for JobKeeper fraud, [media release], 24 February 2021, accessed 24 February 2021.