by Olivia Lambert, News.com.au
A WELFARE cheat hid more than $1 million in cash and assets from Centrelink over a decade, after the Department of Social Services overpaid him money he wasn't even eligible for.
Rabee Ebady received the Disability Support Pension, Newstart Allowance and rent assistance between December 2005 and March 2016. He failed to declare an income of $691,566 he earned during the 11-year period and did not declare his ownership of a residential property in Fairfield, in Sydney's west, while he was receiving rent assistance.
He also transferred $447,631 overseas and did not declare the amount to Centrelink.
He was ordered to pay back about $142,000, but Mr Ebady attempted to dodge the debt.
Documents from the Administrative Appeal Tribunal show Mr Ebady claimed he was in financial difficulty, was not currently receiving an income and was relying on the help of family.
The tribunal said a debt could be written off if the defaulter had no capacity to repay, however, they did not find grounds for this in Mr Ebady's case.
Mr Ebady did not give the tribunal an explanation as to where his income came from, but said he received $5950 following the sale of his car, and said another deposit of $1778 was a friend's tax return. He said another $61,000 was given to him by his father. He did not have evidence to support his claims.
Between December 29 2005 and July 8 2010, Mr Ebady was paid a Newstart Allowance of $28,904. He received $343 in rent assistance from October 18 2006 and December 26 2006 and was paid $112,575 for the Disability Support Pension between July 9 2010 and March 23 2016.
The tribunal documents show he was overpaid the Newstart Allowance and the Disability Support Pension. He was not entitled to rent assistance.
Tribunal documents show Mr Ebady changed his name by registration on five different occasions.
He was born Rabei Ebady in June 1969 and in 2000 he changed his name to Robe Mnsor.
In 2006, he changed his name back to Rabei Ebady and in 2008 changed it again to Waiel Kalf Ebady. In 2014, he again went by Rabei Ebady. In 2015 he changed his name to Ali Ebady and his name was recorded by Centrelink as Rabee Ebadi.
At a hearing in October last year, Mr Ebady acknowledged he also went by Wael (Kalf) Ebady, Rabeia Al Mansouri, Ebady Ali and Ali Ebady.
He denied using any name other than the ones lawfully registered.
The documents said Mr Ebady claimed to change his name to open bank accounts and get credit cards for his gambling habit and changed his name when he couldn't pay back the loan.
He would then open a new account at a different bank to get more credit.
He registered a business name 'All Perfect Services' to make banks believe he could repay loans and made transfers between his accounts - one which featured the business name - to make it look like he was operating a firm.
Mr Ebady also claimed he set up bank accounts in his wife's name and had access to it when she and their children were overseas for eight months.
For reasons that are unknown, Centrelink paid her welfare assistance, which Mr Ebady drew out of her account without her knowledge.
Mr Ebady had a number of different bank accounts opened through separate banks and the Department of Social Services obtained statements that showed Mr Ebady made 1183 transactions using 58 different accounts at six banks.
Despite Mr Ebady trying to get out of the $142,000 debt, tribunal senior member Jill Toohey said because he hid his income and assets there was no ground to reduce his debt.
"There is no reason why he should not have to repay all of that debt," she said.