Four former Australian Border Force officers have admitted to defrauding the commonwealth of $140,000 in relation to a tourist refund program.
The Tourist Refund Scheme is a federal government initiative where departing overseas travelers can claim a tax refund for goods they purchase while they’re in Australia.
An investigation by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) confirmed that the four officers had defrauded the commonwealth by directing refunds amounting to a combined $139,480 to their own bank accounts and those of family members.
The money was transferred between 2017-1018.
The Integrity Commissioner found all four officers had engaged in corrupt conduct and each of them pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception.
“The evidence obtained demonstrates that each of the former officers performed their duties to dishonestly benefit themselves and cause detriment to the Commonwealth,” Integrity Commissioner Jaala Hinchcliffe said.
Each officer was prosecuted for their actions but all have managed to avoid jail.
‘Officer A’ was sentenced to 20 months jail to be served by an Intensive Correction order; ‘Officer B’ got five months, to be released immediately on paying $200; ‘Officer C’ got eight months subject ot a $5,000 payment; and ‘Officer D’ was sentenced to two years to be served by way of an Intensive Corrections Order.
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