Charlie Coe, Daily Mail, August 29, 2018
A South Sudanese mother and son defrauded the Australian government of $440,000 a week at the height of a childcare scam that pocketed them $6million dollars.
Rosa Riak and Kuol Deng were both sentenced to four years in jail at Melbourne County Court on Wednesday for making false subsidy claims through different childcare businesses.
Riak’s daughter Achai Deng was also sentenced to 18 months in jail, but released immediately on a good behavior bond.
Deng spent $165,000 on a Range Rover, and asked his mother where he should store $80,000 in cash — according to Channel 7.
The trio told the court they were ‘ashamed’ for defrauding the country which gave them citizenship in 2006.
They had fled from a Kenyan refugee camp in 2004.
The court heard claims were made for children who were never cared for at their centres — with some of the staff abroad or in a different state at the time.
One business claimed just $45,000 over 12 months before being bought by the Deng’s — but in the next year claimed $6.2million.
Justic McInerney said $950,000 of that amount had been falsely claimed.
According to The Australian, the judge said Deng had called investigators ‘stupid’ and indicated they weren’t smart enough to catch them.
He said: ‘Your community has undergone unjustified vilification in recent times — you have added to the trauma your community must endure.
Justic McInerney also criticised the Commonwealth Department of Education — questioning how Deng and his sister were able to start various businesses after a previous one had been closed.