A woman has been sentenced to jail for her "downright dishonest" actions that saw her fraudulently obtained almost $60,000 in federal government benefits.
But Esin Kahraman has lodged an appeal against the jail term.
Kahraman, 49, of Loftus Street, Wollongong ,was legitimately receiving a disability support pension while also working for the Education Department as a learning support officer.
In five separate periods between May 2011 and February 2018 on more than 100 occasions she under-reported to Centrelink how much money she had earned through that job.
In 49 cases she falsely reported she had received no income at all.
Over the seven-year period, she was overpaid to the tune of $59,780.05.
Kahraman had pled guilty to the offences and had already paid back some of the money, her solicitor said.
He said she had filled out the income forms "recklessly", though not before asking Centrelink for assistance.
He also said she was planning to address the issue to ensure it did not happen again.
A solicitor from the federal Department of Public Prosecutions took issue with the idea Kahraman had filled out forms "recklessly" and suggested the extent of the breach pointed to some level of intent.
Magistrate Michael Stoddart was unimpressed with the level of the breach, particularly the number of times she had falsely reported that she had received no income from the Education Department.
"Forty-nine times you said that you received no income," Magistrate Stoddart said.
"How can that be anything but downright dishonesty?"
He pointed out that several years ago Kahraman had been spoken to Centrelink officers "about this sort of thing" but she kept doing it.
"The overall result is that about $60,000 has been received by you when you shouldn't have," he said.
"That large amount of money that you've received could have gone to people who needed it.
"You've ripped the system off to your own benefit."
Magistrate Stoddart said nothing less than a custodial sentence would be appropriate
The sentence would normally have been six months but he gave her a two-month discount for her early guilty plea and the fact she had paid back around $20,000.
He sentenced her to four months in jail and ordered her to pay back $40,355.32 to the federal government.
Kahraman lodged an appeal against the severity of the jail term
She was granted bail until the appeal was heard by the Wollongong District Court in February, at a date yet to be fixed.