Centrelink worker went that little bit further to claim benefits.
Centrelink worker went that little bit further to claim benefits. AAP Image

Centrelink worker faked blindness for disability pension

A FORMER Northern Rivers resident has been charged with defrauding the Commonwealth by pretending she was blind to obtain a disability pension.

And it was an inside job - as Rebecca Teece, now 35, was working for Centrelink at the time.

Teece, also known as Rebecca O'Grady, is facing four counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception over her alleged use of fake medical reports and fake names to claim eligibility for pension payments between 2012 and 2015.

Teece worked at Centrelink offices in Coffs Harbour and then Pottsville when the alleged fraud took place.

In August 2012, Teece allegedly lodged a fake report from an opthamologist called Dr D. Gregor to justify a claim for a blindness disability pension. She was working in North Boambee Valley at the time.

As a result of the alleged deception, Teece received payments between December 17, 2012, and May 1, 2015.

Two years later, while working in Pottsville, Teece is alleged to have used a fake name, Rachel Lewis, to lodge another fraudulent claim for a disability pension.

Court papers allege Teece made the claim between October 30, 2014, and May 1, 2015, and as a result received payments between November 28, 2014, and May 1, 2015.

During this period Teece allegedly struck a third time, this time between March 5 and 9, 2015.

On this occasion she made and then approved her own claim for a carer's payment under the fictitious name of Margereet Lewis.

She is alleged to have done this twice.

Teece was served with a court attendance notice on January 30 this year and the matter was mentioned in Lismore Local Court on Tuesday this week.

It was adjourned to September 19 to return to Lismore Local Court.

Magistrate David Heilpern said no further adjournments would be allowed.


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