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Defence loses thousands in credit card fraud

Date

Phillip Thomson

A Defence Department graduate was sacked earlier this year after wrongfully racking up more than $6000 on a taxpayer-funded credit card.

But the young public servant who cut a career short not long after it started was only one of a number of civilian and uniformed personnel at Defence brought undone by a small piece of plastic.

Investigations were launched into credit card misuse with an accumulated loss of $30,000 across a five month period earlier this year.

And not all questions have been answered. 

There was insufficient evidence to take action against a private who allegedly misspent $10,000 and also a lack of evidence to pursue a commander about a transaction worth more than $1000, although others found guilty by internal investigations have often paid the price of misadventure with their job. 

A class two warrant officer was reduced to the rank of corporal and dismissed from the service after an $8450 spree.  A corporal with a smaller bill of $925 to explain was a little more fortunate after receiving a fine and reprimand. 

The breakdown of credit card breaches from February to June has been provided in answers to questions on notice in Parliament. 

As of June, investigators were still searching for someone who racked up a $3561 bill on their defence travel card. 

Records show Defence has been able to limit card fraud to an extremely small number of perpetrators who still want to take the risk.

Almost 70,000 public servants and uniformed personnel working for the Defence Department and Australian Defence Force (ADF) have access to cards which in total can rack up more than $1 billion of expenses every couple of years. 

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