A woman has narrowly escaped spending time in jail after swindling Centrelink of more than $21,000.
Debbie Maree Dickson pleaded guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court on Thursday to three counts of obtaining a financial advantage.
Dickson made 72 false reports to Centrelink between May 2015 and March 2018, under-reporting her income by more than $48,000.
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The court heard she was receiving Newstart payments while working casually at the Mantra Charles Hotel.
During her appearance, Magistrate Ken Stanton said it was a very significant case of under declaration.
The court was told Dickson made two large payments in a bid to repay Centrelink after she was notified there was intention to charge her over the false declarations.
The mother-of-two has no prior convictions and has worked in the hospitality industry since she left high school in Year 10.
Dickson was ordered to complete 105 hours of community service and given a 12-month community corrections order for the first charge.
For charges two and three she was sentenced to five months' jail, but she was released immediately after a $500 recognisance was paid.
She was also given a three-year good behaviour bond and ordered to pay court cost of $83.74