A beloved community volunteer and teacher’s aide of 25 years at a primary school will go to jail after otaining over $50,000 in welfare over seven years.
A beloved community volunteer and teacher’s aide of 25 years at a primary school will go to jail after otaining over $50,000 in welfare over seven years.

Beloved teacher’s aide exposed as $50k welfare cheat

A respected teacher aide of more than 25 years at a Logan primary school who spends her spare time volunteering scammed the Federal Government of more than $50,000 in welfare payments she was not entitled to over a seven-year period.

Slacks Creek woman Deborah Monaghan, 51, a teacher aide at Mabel Park State School, will serve three months behind bars of a two-year sentence before being released on a three-year, $3000 good behaviour bond.

Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard Monaghan obtained a financial advantage of $50,443.02 from Services Australia by consistently under-reporting her earnings at the school.

The first period she obtained a financial advantage by deception was between September 29, 2011 - March 25, 2012 with the Newstart Allowance.

In this period, she claimed $3829.77 more than she was entitled to.

The second period was between May 22, 2012 - October 14, 2018 with the Disability Support Pension.

Mabel Park State School teacher aide Deborah Monaghan, 51, will serve three months of a two year jail sentence after being convicted of obtaining more than $50,000 in welfare payments from the Federal Government by under-declaring her income. Picture: Alex Treacy
Mabel Park State School teacher aide Deborah Monaghan, 51, will serve three months of a two year jail sentence after being convicted of obtaining more than $50,000 in welfare payments from the Federal Government by under-declaring her income. Picture: Alex Treacy

In this period, she claimed $46,603.25 more than she was entitled to.

In total, during the two periods of deceptive conduct, Monaghan claimed about $144,000 when she was only entitled to about $99,000.

The court heard Monaghan was earning about $705 gross a fortnight for her work as a teacher aide.

Monaghan is on leave at the school until the end of August and also had to resign her position as the treasurer of a local community group, the court was told.

Character references from a Mabel Park teacher and a parent of a student were tendered on her behalf.

"They say what a wonderful teacher aide you are," Magistrate Louise Shephard said.

"These are very serious offences, easy to commit and difficult to detect."

Monaghan pleaded guilty to two charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

She will spend three months behind bars. Convictions were recorded.

Monaghan still has to repay about $47,000.

Originally published as Beloved teacher's aide exposed as $50k welfare cheat


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