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Papers doctored

Wednesday, 12th October, 2011

A woman who ran Tibooburra’s child care service falsified income and expenditure statements to keep funding coming in, according to government investigators.

The 41-year-old woman was the secretary of the Tibooburra Multi-Purpose Centre and fully responsible for its management when she submitted false statements to the Department of Education and Workplace Relations, the Local Court was told yesterday.

According to the department, Joanne Lea Nicholls (41), admitted to investigators from the department in an interview that she falsified the documents “with the intention that funding would continue.”

Ms Nicholls pleaded guilty yesterday to six counts of using forged documents, and six of tampering with documents.

She also allegedly admitted to forging the signature of the centre’s accountant on the six statements that she sent to the department between June 2005 and November 2009.

Based on the doctored financial statements, the department paid the centre a total of $261,238 over the four years.

Ms Nicholls will be sentenced in the District Court in Sydney at a date to be fixed. 

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