A woman who fraudulently obtained more than $100,000 through the disability support pension by claiming she had cancer, has been jailed.
Hanna Maree Dickinson, 27, was sentenced at the County Court of Victoria on Tuesday over her "gravely dishonest" behaviour.
She received $100,232.73 in disability support pension payments from January, 15, 2014 to October, 27, 2018.
Dickinson provided fake medical documents to the department claiming she had a rare cancer condition known as leiomyosarcoma which was potentially terminal.
At times, Dickinson received the payments while she was engaged in employment and even sought additional payments.
Judge Sarah Dawes told Dickinson she had no legitimate entitlement to any of the funds.
"You fraudulently created the medical documents which provide support for your diagnosis and they were submitted in support of your application," Judge Dawes said.
"Considered objectively, your conduct is gravely dishonest. You made a calculated decision to access a significant financial benefit that you were not entitled to receive.
"This was a sophisticated and sustained fraud, perpetuated over a number of years. You had time to reflect on your offending conduct and chose to persist with it.
I consider your conduct disgraceful.Judge Sarah Dawes
Judge Dawes said Dickinson's offending did not end voluntarily but ended after the department undertook its own investigation, which revealed her conduct.
She said the department became aware Dickinson had appeared at a Melbourne court for falsifying a medical condition.
You fraudulently obtained a substantial amount of money from the public purse and the community at large are the victim of your misconductJudge Sarah Dawes
"Frauds of this nature create a heavy burden for taxpayers and the community as a whole."
Dickinson was on bail and a community corrections order for similar offending, the court was told.
Her extensive history of deception includes three months' imprisonment for swindling $42,000 from her family and friends by claiming she was dying from cancer.
She appealed the sentence and was placed on a community corrections order but breached it when she took $10,168 from tenants while working as a property manager.
In July 2019 Dickinson falsified an application for a $30,000 car loan.
She is currently serving an eight-month prison term for further offending with her earliest release date on January 14, 2021.
Cancer Conwoman jailed for 1 year. Hanna Dickinson received $100k in disability support pension payments fraudulently claiming she had terminal cancer. She provided false medical reports, even told her mother she had months to live. @7NewsMelbournepic.twitter.com/Pc6lcfwaPV— Jayde Vincent (@JaydeVincent) November 24, 2020
Medical material tendered to the court showed Dickinson had borderline and narcissistic personality disorders, and her prior offences related to emotional dysregulation, selfishness and attempts to buy and maintain friends.
Dickinson regretted her actions and was ashamed of her conduct.
She was sentenced to two years and six months' imprisonment to be served concurrently with her current sentence.
After serving one year, she will be released on a recognisance order where she agreed to be of good behaviour for three years.
Dickinson received a reduced sentence because she pleaded guilty early and had voluntarily started repaying the pension money back.
Dickinson, who now lives in Melbourne with her mother, pleaded guilty to one count of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
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