A Warilla man has lodged an appeal against a full-time prison sentence he received for defrauding Centrelink of more than $20,000.
Leslie James Corbett, 55, was yesterday sentenced to nine months' jail, with a non-parole period of five months, for claiming $20,422 in disability pension payments that he wasn't entitled to receive.
Wollongong Local Court heard Corbett failed to disclose to Centrelink his casual job as a labourer between October 2007 and April 2010.
During that time he earned a wage of between $210 and $2042 a week from his employee, Allmen Industrial Services, totalling almost $64,000 during the offending period.
However, he failed to reveal the casual payments to Centrelink, and still claimed $34,000 in welfare payments.
The court heard the mix of the wage and the benefits amounted to Corbett being overpaid by Centrelink on 58 different fortnights.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of obtaining a financial advantage from the Commonwealth.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie yesterday described Corbett's crimes as involving "deliberate dishonesty" and a significant amount of money.
"These sorts of offences are treated very seriously by the courts," she said.
"Public money needs to be spent properly," Ms Beattie said.
In sentencing Corbett to full-time jail, Ms Beattie rejected requests from his lawyer to have him undertake community service as punishment.
She said a strong message of deterrence needed to be sent to the public that such behaviour would not be treated lightly.
However, Corbett immediately lodged an appeal against the sentence, claiming it was too severe.
He was released on bail while he waits for the matter to be heard in the District Court, expected to be at the end of October.