Six people have been charged over an elaborate plot to defraud the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of up to $10 million over four years.
Five men and a woman — aged 22 to 34 — are accused of receiving large payments through three fraudulent NDIS providers since 2017.
Police allege the syndicate skimmed NDIS funding from disabled users of the scheme — providing inflated invoices to the NDIS for rebates.
They are also accused of working with the families and support persons of NDIS users to exaggerate their disabilities to get extra funding.
The alleged ringleaders, Mohammed Sallam, his wife, Noura Bader, and brother, Muath Sallam, are accused of setting up the companies.
Police are examining $10 million worth of NDIS payments, but were unable to say exactly how much of it is fraudulent, other than “millions”.
Mr Sallam and Ms Nader allegedly were responsible for claiming more than $3 million in fraudulent payments.
They were arrested at their Lidcombe apartment, while Mr Sallam was handcuffed at his Monterey home during police raids across Western Sydney.
Three others were also detained, including Noah Adel, who allegedly withdrew cash from approved NDIS claims on behalf of the couple.
Police claim Gazwan Shahrouk was paid $40,000 to set up a bank account under his name to receive the fraudulent payments.
A friend of the couple, French national Jugurtha Zafrane, allegedly committed his own fraud against the NDIS of about $37,000.
As part of the operation, more than $2 million worth of assets were seized, including eight kilograms of gold bullion, $600,000 in cryptocurrency, $600,000 in cash and luxury cars worth $250,000.
AFP Commander Kristy Schofield would not rule out further arrests, which could include people living with a disability or their families who may have helped with the alleged fraud.
Five of the alleged fraudsters were granted bail under “strict conditions” when they faced Central Local Court yesterday.