A Laverton service station chef rorted Centrelink for $85,000 then blew the dough on booze and gambling, a court has heard.

Michael Blackborrow, 41, pleaded guilty in the County Court on Monday to obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Blackborrow raked in almost $250,000 while working for BP Energy Laverton between March 2012 and August 2018.

The “reasonably paid” casual servo chef under-reported his earnings, telling Centrelink he only pulled in $25,000 because he was unable to find enough work.

The chef’s porky pies spiked in March 2018 when he lodged a dodgy medical certificate to get out of doing a compulsory “activity test”.

The temporary medical exemption meant Blackborrow was excused from reporting what he had done to find work and how many jobs he had applied for

Blackborrow’s dodgy medical certificate stated the slop chef was “experiencing tiredness and breathing difficulty” which rendered him unfit for work.

Blackborrow, who made 170 false declarations, attempted to evade Centrelink after his racket came unstuck via data-matching in mid-2018.

Centrelink launched an investigation and invited Blackborrow in for an interview in mid-2019 but he declined.

The court was told Blackborrow, who had a gambling disorder, experienced “loneliness and isolation” during his offending period.

It was submitted all Blackborrow did was work, gamble, drink and “defraud the government”.

The court heard he was estranged from his family and had begun a relationship with his partner in 2018, which was his first meaningful connection in many years.

The defence submitted Blackborrow had not been motivated by “significant greed” but Judge Anne Hassan disagreed.

“He’s greedy,” Judge Hassan said.

“He’s not an old man or a sick man — he’s a capable man with a reasonably paid job.”

Judge Hassan also noted Blackborrow’s “lengthy period of offending”.

The prosecution submitted Blackborrow, who has not spent a day in custody, should be served an immediate jail term.

Blackborrow’s bail was extended for sentencing on March 4.

Extracted in full from: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/west/dolecheat-laverton-bp-service-station-chef-michael-blackborrow-pleads-guilty-to-rorting-centrelink/news-story/f41796f779b6b702186ed562a4359dee