IT TOOK a jury only half an hour to find a former Whitsundays woman guilty of illegally claiming $74,000 from Centrelink.
Barbara Ann Moody, 59, will spend the next one and a half years behind bars after she was convicted on Thursday of claiming Centrelink benefits, including Newstart and the disability support pension, while she was working full time at a school.
The grandmother once worked for former Whitsundays MP Jan Jarratt and Hayman Island Resort.
She pleaded not guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The offending occurred over three and a half years between October 2009 and April 2013 while she was living near Brisbane.
Towards the end of the four-day trial this week at Brisbane District Court, Moody went into the witness box and told her version of events.
Moody claimed she had called Centrelink and was told she was still eligible for the disability support pension. Her case was that she did not knowingly deceive Centrelink.
But after the jury declared she was guilty, Judge Brad Farr said the conviction was inevitable because there was an "overwhelming" prosecution case against her.
"The evidence which you gave was at times almost incomprehensible in logic," he said.
"In my view you have demonstrated absolutely no remorse whatsoever."
Judge Farr also said Moody had a history of claiming Centrelink benefits she was not entitled to.
She previously pleaded guilty to claiming about $28,000 of payments she was not entitled to between 2006 and 2008.
The court heard she was on bail and subject to a good behaviour bond when she committed the later fraud.
Judge Farr sentenced Moody to three and a half years jail, to be released after serving 18 months.
Moody has also been ordered to pay back the $74,000.
- APN NEWSDESK
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