Beyond the High Court’s “statutory fiction” decision: Dealing with the Centrelink’s Letter of Demand fraud – Why not fight back and prosecute Centrelink instead?

Redacted Centrelink letterOn May 8th 2013 the Australian High Court turfed out an attempt by the Federal Parliament to hide the fact that 15,000 welfare recipients had been prosecuted and convicted of a crime that did not exist. The purpose of the retrospective legislation, put in place in 2011 to cover this monumental legal blunder, was to both avoid the political accountability for this stuff-up and to avoid the potential compensation bill from welfare recipients which could have been as high as $11.4 BILLION or even more!

[NOTE: The URL short link for this posting is: http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-g3   ]

For taxpayers the big problem now with the turfed-out “statutory fiction” legislation is that it proves that Australian politicians are willing to deliberately violate the constitution, the legal rights and the human rights of welfare recipients. The legal term for what the politicians did, i.e. Mens Rea, which means “Deliberate Intent”  wipes out any chance that what Australia’s feral federal politicians  did was “an accident”. Deliberately jailing people for a non-existent crime is a Crime Against Humanity, which explains why the High Court turfed out the “statutory fiction” legislation. With a South Australian court decision on March 7th 2013, that $11.4 Billion compo’ bill may have just sky-rockets to $55.5 BILLION.

So what Ron? How does that news help me deal with a letter from Centrelink demanding that I repay thousands of dollars in over-payments?

  1. The quick answer is that it doesn’t but it does.
  2. In June a federal court judge, Steven Rares gave a speech at a law conference during which he tried to explain in ( fairly) plain English why the legislation was created, i.e. welfare recipients do not know their constitutional rights, and why the legislation was turfed out.
  3. You read me right there – the judge actually believes that 15,000 welfare recipients were shafted because they could not be bothered to learn about their legal and constitutional rights.
  4. Guess what, as a teacher I agree that most people do not know their rights, but that is because we teachers are not allowed to teach them, unlike in the USA where you do not ‘graduate’ from Primary School unless you know how to tick of a cop with “I know my rights”!
  5. However, in reading his speech, I picked up some useful thoughts and ideas which are set out below.

Basically, if you get a Centrelink letter of demand that contains a “we stuffed up” statement like the example in the (real) letter at the start of this posting (“…not taken into account” means that it was a Centrelink stuff-up) and it is accompanied by the statement, We are, therefore required to recover this amount”, then there is a very good chance that Centrelink is trying to put one over on you, i.e. defraud you, and one option that you can use is to “Do unto Centrelink as Centrelink has been doing to welfare recipients at the rate of 10 people a day for years.”

What I am saying is that the law which has enabled Centrelink to prosecute welfare recipients at a rate of “10 people per day” can also be used to prosecute Centrelink staff when they try to scam you by ignoring the “Waiver of debt” law! Now just how nice is that?

THE WAIVER OF DEBT LAW – AKA THE 6 WEEK RULE FRAUD.

 YOU MAY NOT HAVE TO REPAY IF THE ERROR WAS SOLELY DUE TO A MISTAKE BY CENTRELINK FOR THE LAW REQUIRES THAT THE SECRETARY (the boss of Centrelink) WAIVE A DEBT IF IT WAS THEIR MISTAKE AND THEY DO NOT FIX THE ERROR WITHIN 6 WEEKS..

 THE LAW ALSO REQUIRES THAT A DEBT BE WAIVED IF IT WAS DUE TO A “GOOD FAITH’ ERROR, e.g. you work on-call casual or part-time with variable hours and it is impossible to accurately estimate your next year’s annual income for a Family Payments benefit and you under-estimate your potential earnings because you have been given more work than in the previous year(s). (This not as clear cut as a Centrelink stuff-up but some letters of demand relate to over-payments made due to legitimate “good faith” errors, so your key phrase to remember is “a good faith error”.)

 WHAT TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE A LETTER OF DEMAND FOR REPAYMENT AND YOU KNOW IT WAS CENTRELINK’S MISTAKE?

START BY KEEPING THESE ‘RULES’ IN MIND:

  1. SINCE CENTRELINK IS DEMANDING REPAYMENT, THE ONUS IS ON CENTRELINK TO PROVE THAT IT IS ENTITLED TO BE REPAID.
  2. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PROVE TO CENTRELINK THAT YOU GAVE THE CORRECT INFORMATION BECAUSE:
  3. CENTRELINK IS DEMANDING THE MONEY – THEREFORE THE LEGAL ONUS IS UPON CENTRELINK TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE LEGALLY “entitled” TO CLAIM THIS MONEY AND IF THEY STUFFED UP THEY CANNOT DO THIS.
  4. IF THEY CANNOT PROVE ENTITLEMENT, IT IS FRAUD AND YOU CAN PRESS CHARGES AGAINST CENTRELINK.
  • Long lists of dates and amounts of over-payments are not proof that you owe Centrelink money.
  • This information is just proof that Centrelink has made a lot of mistakes with your payments.
  • Centrelink has made lots of such over-payment errors, about $3 billion worth of such mistakes, i.e. they do it a lot of times and Centrelink’s ‘Fat-Cat’ Tier 1, Tier 2, & Tier 3 top-level management actually get paid a 4% annual ‘performance bonus (about $8,00+) if they can get some of these over-payments back, even though the law says that they are not allowed to do this.
  • These management bonus payments and the waiver of debt law are what is known in court as “a potential conflict of interest”.
  • If the letter of demand for repayment contains a statement saying that “The law requires that we recover this money” or something like that, be aware that this is a deceptive half-truth that may be intended to mislead you into repaying the debt even if you do not have to because the waiver of debt rule applies in your case, i.e. Centrelink’s stuff-up and not yours..

 ALWAYS BE POLITE TALKING TO CENTRELINK PEOPLE BUT BE FIRM WHEN YOU HAVE TO BE – NO SHOUTING OR SWEARING PLEASE.

  1. Write to Centrelink pointing out that the law, as set out in paragraph 1,237a of the Social Security Act, THE LAW requires that any debt due to Centrelink that is not rectified with 6 weeks cannot be recovered by the Secretary or his staff.
  2. Point out that ignoring this legal obligation is a criminal violation of Section 135.2 of the Commonwealth criminal Code Act (1995).
  3. That if the Secretary, or any Centrelink staff, ignore this law then it is a criminal offense that involves “an act of omission for the purpose of Centrelink obtaining a financial advantage that Centrelink is not entitled to receive.”  (The legal way of saying that Centrelink is trying to rip you off and you are not going to be a victim of this fraud.)
  4. If a Centrelink Customer Service Officer tells you that “Centrelink has raised a debt” and that you MUST repay this debt OR ELSE, point out that “Under Section 135.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act (1995), if the Secretary, or any Centrelink staff, ignore your legal rights under paragraph 1,237a of the Social Security Act and;
  5. “Centrelink raises a debt that you do not have to repay under that provision” that  this is a criminal offense that involves;
  6. “An act of Commission for the purpose of Centrelink obtaining a financial advantage that Centrelink is not entitled to receive.”
  7. DO NOT authorize Centrelink to take money from your welfare benefit until such time as Centrelink provides proof that you made a mistake that is not covered under paragraph 1,237a of the Social Security Act.

 WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE IGNORED CENTRELINK STARTS TAKING MONEY FROM YOUR WELFARE PAYMENT, OR YOU ARE THREATENED WITH CENTRELINK “GETTING TOUGH” OR PROSECUTING YOU?

 If that happens, then instead of a potential crime by “The Secretary or his staff”, you now THE VICTIM OF A REAL CRIME and you deal with it the same way that you deal with having your house robbed, or if you were  mugged in the street, i.e. FILE A FRAUD COMPLAINT WITH THE POLICE.

 If you do not know what to say or write in a fraud complaint to the police (or the Commonwealth Ombudsman) copy and paste the following text into a word processor. (Your complaint should be very specific and just state the core points written below. RECOMMENDATION: Highlight and copy this text into a word processing document right now.)

 “Centrelink has violated Section 135.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code by committing An Unlawful Act of Commission that has enabled Centrelink to obtain a financial advantage from me to which it is not entitled under paragraph 1,237a of the Social Security Act which states that I am not required to repay a debt if it is due to Centrelink error. The waiver of debt law is set out below:

 Waiver of debt arising from error

1) Subject to subsection (1A), the Secretary must waive the right to recover the proportion of a debt that is attributable solely to an administrative error made by the Commonwealth if the debtor (you) received in good faith the payment or payments that gave rise to that proportion of the debt.

 Subsection (1) does not allow waiver of a part of a debt that was caused partly by administrative error and partly by one or more other factors (such as error by the debtor).

(1A) Subsection (1) only applies if:

(a) the debt is not raised within a period of 6 weeks from the first payment that caused the debt; *or

(b) if the debt arose because a person has complied with a notification obligation, the debt is not raised within a period of 6 weeks from the end of the notification period; whichever is the later. *

Underestimating value of property

(2) If: (a) a debt arose because the debtor or the debtor’s partner underestimated the value of particular property of the debtor or partner; and

(b) the estimate was made in good faith; and

(c) the value of the property was not able to be easily determined when the estimate was made;

the Secretary must waive the right to recover the proportion of the debt attributable to the underestimate.

Proportion of a debt:

(3) For the purposes of this section, a proportion of a debt may be 100% of the debt.

=======================================================================================

WHO DO YOU FILE THIS COMPLAINT WITH?

I recommend that you cover all of the bases and file copies with:

  1. Your local police station.
  2. The Federal Police – look in the phone book.
  3. The Commonwealth Ombudsman – if you do this please suggest that they review Complaint #2012 – 109928 for an overview of the scope of this nation-wide systemic fraud.
  4. Your federal Member of Parliament (who will ignore it but it puts him/her on the hook for knowing about this fraud and doing nothing about it.
  5. The mass media, who also know about and generally approves of this fraud and endorses it by calling YOU the dole bludging, welfare gravy-train riding rorter and totally ignoring this Centrelink rip-off.
  6. Again, by tossing this fraud in their lap, it makes it hard for them to deny any knowledge of it once the case gets to court.
  7. Tell as many of your friends as possible.

REMEMBER: 15,000 WELFARE RECIPIENTS WHO WERE PROSECUTED UNDER SECTION 135.2 OF THE COMMONWEALTH CRIMINAL CODE ACT (1995) WERE TOTALLY INNOCENT.

BUT THAT DID NOT STOP THE FERAL RATBAGS WHO WANT TO BE RE-ELECTED ON SEPTEMBER 7TH FROM RUSHING THE “statutory fiction” LAW THROUGH THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENT SO THAT INNOCENT PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELF COULD BE JAILED.

SO, my final piece of advice is simple, VOTE SMART AND VOTE FOR SOMEONE ELSE ON SEPTEMBER 7TH and leave the ALP and the Liberal (0r National) politicians till absolutely last on the ballot papers when you vote.

  1. The job is worth about $1,5 MILLION A YEAR in pay and perks for an MP so voting for them last REALLY HURTS when they loose an election.
  2. The SENATE PAPER:  VOTE BELOW THE LINE.
  3. WHY? IT TAKES TOO LONG?
  4. YES IT DOES BUT 6 PEOPLE GET THEIR SNOUT IN “THE TROUGH” FOR 6 YEARS
  5. DO THE MATHS: 6 x 6 = 36 x $1.5 MILLION = $48 MILLION.
  6. THAT IS ONE HELL OF BIG PRIZE! – DO YOU REALLY WANT TO GIVE THAT SORT OF MEGA-BUCKS TO 6 FACELESS POLITICIANS WHO HAVE PROVED THAT THEY ARE QUITE HAPPY TO JAIL YOU TO HIDE THEIR MISTAKE?
  7. It can also take the Electoral Commission days, not hours, to work out who won the House of Rep’s vote (i.e. win government) and even several months to work out who won the crucial Senate vote – the Senate can veto (toss out) government legislation, or worse, do what happened with Work Choices when John Howard controlled both houses of parliament and the Senate just rubber-stamped any trash that was rail-roaded through parliament.

Finally: Are you one  of the 25% of Australian voters (1 person in 4) on a welfare payment from Centrelink? If so, apart from having the collective voting power to decide who wins the federal election, you can also do yourself and your friends a big favour by making sure that they know about the Waiver of Debt law. It is a dead duck certainty that Centrelink will not tell them about it if they are demanding that over-payments be repaid! So, either copy the law into word processor and then email it to your mates or email the web link which is repeat listed here:   http://wp.me/p1n8TZ-g3

Ronald Medlicott – A Christian advocate for Justice in Australia.

P.S. – If you don’t vote, you don’t count and so you don’t hurt politicians. In fact, you make it easier for the winners to win!

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