Man guilty of false claim for fire relief

A RAVENSWOOD man knew he had falsely received relief money that was meant for victims of the 2013 Tasmanian bushfires, a court has heard.

Peter Andrew Healey, 42, pleaded guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday to having dealt with money that was, and that he believed to be, the proceeds of crime, being $1000.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew a charge of having obtained a financial advantage.

Magistrate Simon Brown noted Healey's 13-page history of offending, including a number of appearances for dishonesty matters over the years.

Mr Brown convicted and fined Healey $1000 and made a reparation order for the Commonwealth of $116.84, being the balance that had not already been recovered through fortnightly withholdings from Healey's Newstart allowance.

The offence arose out of a false claim in Healey's name in relation to an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for the bushfires in South-Eastern and Eastern Tasmania in January 2013.

An associate of Healey's, who was penalised in another court, made the false claim using Healey's Centrelink details.

The false claim stated that Healey could not access his property in Victoria Street, Triabunna, on January 11, 2013, for 24 hours.

Healey did not have a residence at Triabunna.

Nevertheless, he received the $1000 in his bank account and spent it.