Media statement: Organised crime targeting Commonwealth-funded programs

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has intelligence on serious and organised criminals targeting Commonwealth-funded programs. This is classified information and not available to the public.

Methods used by operators across different programs to fraudulently claim benefits are consistent across multiple criminal groups. Professional facilitators, including criminally complicit accountants and registered tax agents, are assisting serious and organised crime groups to defraud government programs and schemes.

In support of our vision of an Australia hostile to criminal exploitation, we engage in multi-agency collaboration to address fraud vulnerabilities in all Commonwealth-funded programs. We do this by providing our unique capabilities to assist our partners in developing intelligence insights and responses to criminal syndicates engaged in this activity.

The ACIC are partners in the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, facilitating the coordinated identification of and response to financially motivated criminal activity, and we contribute as a member of the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce.

We also participate in other task forces to enhance the integrity of the financial system in Australia, including the Phoenix Taskforce and the Black Economy Standing Taskforce (led by the Australian Taxation Office) and the Fintel Alliance (led by AUSTRAC).

Serious and organised crime groups will continue to look for vulnerabilities in Commonwealth-funded programs in order to exploit the system. The joint capabilities of the ACIC and our partners positions us to combat this criminal activity and ensure funding goes to those that genuinely require it.

Michael Phelan APM

Chief Executive Officer

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission