Aussie man cheats welfare system, pockets $150,000

Australia, Welfare
The man failed to provide accurate information for more than 10 years. Photo credit: Getty

An Australian man has been caught out cheating the welfare system after not declaring income and assets.

Rabee Ebady received three different payments from Centrelink, the equivalent of Work and Income in New Zealand, for more than a decade after he claimed he was in financial difficulty, according to

Between December 2005 and March 2016, Ebady earned more than NZD $730,000 in income, and didn't declare ownership of at least one property in Sydney and transferred more than NZD $475,000 to overseas bank accounts.

All of which went unknown to Centrelink.

In total, Mr Ebady received more than NZD $150,000 in welfare payments he was not eligible for or was overpaid for:

  • $30,827 in allowance
  • $365 in rent assistance
  • $120,066 in Disability Support Pension

He has since been ordered to pay back the entire amount he received over the 10 year period but did attempt to get out of paying the debt back citing financial issues.

In Australia, debt can be written off if the person has no capacity to repay, however the Administrative Appeal Tribunal has reportedly said they did not find grounds for that in Mr Ebady's case, who did not give an explanation for where is income came from.

The tribunal also revealed Mr Ebady changed his name five times throughout that decade.