Jail for woman with fraudulent sob story

A WOMAN who took her case to TV show A Current Affair after illegally gaining disability payments was yesterday sentenced to imprisonment.

Dena Louise Alexopoulos, 52, was yesterday found guilty of defrauding the Commonwealth in Hobart's Supreme Court.

Alexopoulos lied about her marital status in a disability support pension application to Centrelink in 2000.

Although she told the organisation she was single, Alexopoulos was living in a de facto relationship with Anthony Port until 2007 and was paid $87,075.99 that she was not entitled to in that time.

Alexopoulos has since been receiving reduced payments from Centrelink to repay an accumulated debt of $88,797.34.

It will take about 26 years to recover the sum.

Following a difficult separation from Mr Port, Alexopoulos last year took her case to A Current Affair, a move that Justice Shan Tennent said was designed to "garner undeserved public sympathy".

"That report was very biased towards you, and I can only infer that those who produced the report were not made aware by you of all the evidence presented to the jury," Justice Tennent said.

Alexopoulos was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $87,075.99 owed to the Commonwealth.

She is eligible for release from prison after six months if she provides a $2000 surety and is of good behaviour for two years.