A Melbourne childcare worker scammed more than $91,000 in welfare benefits but it's a mystery how she spent the taxpayer funds.
Single mother-of-two Ikraam Mohamud admitted taking cash from Centrelink while working at multiple childcare centres, without declaring her income to the federal government agency.
She made regular withdrawals of up to $2000 a day but the County Court was given no information about how the cash was spent.
"There's no evidence you spent the money wrongly received by you, to live some lavish lifestyle," Judge Richard Smith said on Wednesday.
"The withdrawals are unexplained."
The 31-year-old was receiving single parent payments but between 2012 and 2017 lied about her income.
While working she was entitled to receive about $3300 in benefits in total.
"Your offending was deliberate, extended in excess of four years and it involved a substantial amount of money," Judge Smith told Mohamud as he jailed her.
She had been repeatedly told by Centrelink that she must declare her earnings or any changes to her circumstances.
"It is extremely unlikely you would not have been fully aware of your responsibilities to declare any income to Centrelink," Judge Smith said.
Mohamud is repaying her debt to the agency but it was expected to take "many years", he noted .
She had no prior criminal history and had a depressive disorder, the court was told.
Mohamud was sentenced to two years in prison but will spend only three months behind bars before being released on an order to be of good behaviour.
If she breaches the conditions of the order she will be re-sentenced and must pay $2000.
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Australian Associated Press