Flood fraud case thrown out for poor paperwork
A POORLY worded flood assistance form has led to a $200,000 fraud case against an Ipswich woman being thrown out of court.
The case against Michelle Yvette Jones , 48, was dismissed on Wednesday in Brisbane District Court because of a lack of evidence.
Ms Jones had pleaded not guilty to two fraud charges and her legal team applied on Tuesday for the case to be dismissed. The court heard she had received a $680 payment and a $197,094 payment.
On Wednesday Judge Sarah Bradley found Ms Jones had no case to answer.
Ms Jones had been accused of claiming her Delacy St, North Ipswich house that the 2011 floods destroyed was her primary residence - when she was living in a different house with her partner.
She had leased the property to another woman, Megan Collis, who also claimed flood assistance when the property was rendered uninhabitable.
Ms Jones's defence team said the assistance application forms were poorly written and Ms Jones's answers to the questions did not demonstrate dishonesty.
The application form Ms Jones filled out said "this assistance is only available if you own/are paying off the home you live in".
Judge Bradley found it was unclear whether this meant the property needed to be her primary residence.
She said there was no evidence to suggest Ms Jones had acted dishonestly in completing the flood assistance forms.
"As you'll appreciate, the evidence in this case does come down to a large extent to the construction of those forms," she told the jury.
"I have made a ruling there is insufficient evidence in the prosecution case that there has been dishonesty.
"I've made that ruling which means the case can go no further."
- APN NEWSDESK