$5 million in assets confiscated of alleged family day care fraudster

Operation Velo uncovered alleged false subsidy claims coordinated by a Perth-based family day care service provider.

The AFP has restrained a property in Western Australia and more than $4 million from bank accounts, following an investigation into alleged family daycare fraud.

Ahead of search warrants executed yesterday (2 August, 2023), the AFP-led Criminal Asset Confiscation Taskforce (CACT) successfully restrained the assets, which included a property in the Perth suburb of Caversham and about $4.2 million held in two bank accounts, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).

The AFP alleges the assets are owned by a family daycare provider suspected to be claiming fraudulent childcare subsidy payments, with the money held in the accounts suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

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The AFP Criminal Assets Investigation was launched after the Commonwealth Department of Education investigation – codenamed Operation Velo – uncovered alleged false subsidy claims coordinated by a Perth-based family day care service provider.

Image: Op VELO linked CACT seizure (Source: AFP)

The AFP provided further assistance to the Department of Education today with the execution of multiple criminal search warrants across Perth’s northern suburbs in support of the Department of Education’s ongoing investigation.

This activity also involved fraud investigators from the Department of Education and Services Australia, together with compliance staff from the West Australian Department of Communities, Education and Care Regulatory Unit.

AFP Acting Commander Amelia McDonald said the CACT worked closely with criminal investigators from multiple agencies to identify and restrain suspected proceeds of crime in order to deliver maximum impact to the criminal environment. 

“The AFP’s ability to break the cycle of illicit profit sends a strong message to criminals that their luxury lifestyles are an illusion which will inevitably disappear after police knock on their door,” Acting Commander Amelia McDonald said.

“We want to remind offenders that crime doesn’t pay. In a time of rising cost of living pressures, it is crucial we target, identify and prosecute those breaking the law. Their actions drive up costs and hit the pockets of hardworking, honest Australians – and it will not be tolerated. Furthermore, this is not a victimless crime and robs the Australian public of Government funds that support essential services such as health and education.”

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The CACT brings together the resources and expertise of the AFP, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, AUSTRAC and Australian Border Force. Together, these agencies trace, restrain and ultimately confiscate criminal assets.

The funds derived from the sale of confiscated assets are placed into the Confiscated Assets Account which is managed by the Australian Financial Security Authority on behalf of the Commonwealth. These funds can be distributed by the Attorney-General to benefit the community through crime prevention, intervention or diversion programs or other law enforcement initiatives across Australia.

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