A single mother is accused of directing a fake family daycare business that allegedly defrauded $500,000 from taxpayers out of a ‘mocked up’ shop next to a Coles supermarket.
Suzy Zreika, 46, was among 13 people arrested by NSW Police across Sydney this week over an alleged fraud involving the company ABC Kid’s N Care.
Zreika is one of two western Sydney ‘carers’ accused of being ‘silent directors’ of the company, which prosecutors will allege defrauded the Federal Government of a half a million in childcare benefits from March to October this year.
That includes $138,000 from the coronavirus stimulus package – designed to keep the sector afloat through the pandemic – as well as childcare subsidies.
Family day care operator Suzy Zreika, pictured exclusively above, has been charged with ‘conspiracy to defraud’ for her alleged role as a silent director of ABC Kids N Care
Some 13 people were arrested – including eight women – as part of the alleged scam on Wednesday, with Zreika (centre) charged with conspiracy to defraud
Another woman accused of playing a role in the scam is walked to a car by detectives as the investigation reached a critical point this week
Zreika put out a job ad for an ‘energetic motivated person’ with a diploma in early childhood a fortnight ago
Prior to her alleged ringleading of the scam, the Guildford woman advertised family day care services in the city’s south-west on Facebook’s Muslimoon Trading Post.
She recently posted a job ad for an ‘energetic, motivated person’ with an early childhood diploma to join her team in an unspecified supervisor position.
Footage of police raids broadcast on A Current Affair last night showed the Smithfield shopping centre the business allegedly operated from.
A man is arrested by a Strike Force Mercury detective this week, accused of playing a role in the alleged ABC Kids N Care scam
Zreika’s childcare business was an approved day car provider but she has since been charged
Posters, certificates and insurance documents were plastered on the walls but there was no sign of play equipment and prosecutors will allege it was a ‘mock’ set up.
The business had told federal childcare regulators it operated from 7am to 8.30pm on weekdays and was even open on Saturdays.
The regulator ranked it as ‘working towards’ a series of key government quality requirements.
This is the suburban store where a family day care centre was allegedly run out of
This is the inside of the alleged family day care office which police will allege was ‘mocked up’ and actually a ‘sophisticated scam’
Detectives examine accreditation lined up on the walls of the alleged family day care centre and rip it down following a series of raids across Sydney on Wednesday
Detectives attached the specialised Strike Force Mercury executed 34 search warrants at 18 properties and vehicles across Sydney on Wednesday.
Raids were conducted at Blair Athol, Bossley Park, Canley Heights, Edensor Park, Elizabeth Hills, Fairfield, Green Valley, Green Park, Guildford, Lane Cove, Merrylands and Smithfield.
Zreika was arrested and charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud. She was also charged with one count of causing the delivery of a false statement under the Migration Act. The man, 38, was arrested on Thursday morning.
Her co-accused Al-Sharif was charged with two counts of conspiracy to defraud. Both were granted bail to appear at court on November 16.
Seven other women and four men were charged with dishonestly intend to cause a loss in the alleged pyramid-scheme style scam and will face court next month.
Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News