SUSAN Falls, the mum who was acquitted of murdering husband Rodney on the Sunshine Coast, may still face prison after being charged with fraud.
The 42-year-old mother of four, who was freed by a jury after a Brisbane Supreme Court trial in June, has been charged with falsely receiving single parent payments. Ms Falls is alleged to have been getting the single parent pension for the five years to 2006, while she was living with Rodney. She could face up to five years in jail.
Ms Falls admitted to killing Rodney, her defence counsel arguing she had been brutalised by her husband during their 20-year relationship.
The court was also told he had threatened the Falls children.
Now she has been charged by the Australian Federal Police with gaining financial advantage by deception and wilful damage of Commonwealth property.
She faced the charges on Tuesday in a Gold Coast court. She moved to the Gold Coast after being acquitted.
Under section 135.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, anyone found guilty of obtaining financial advantage, for themselves or for another person, which they are not eligible to receive, from a Commonwealth entity can face five years imprisonment.
Ms Falls had three children with her husband at the time she allegedly began to receive the questionable payments.
The children, all girls, ranged in ages from seven to 11.
Ms Falls gave birth to her fourth child during that time, a son.
It is alleged she began receiving the payments while separated from husband Rodney James Falls in 2000-2001 and continued to receive the funds for five years after returning to the family home, a report in the Gold Coast Bulletin said.
No figure was provided on the total amount the Commonwealth is alleging Ms Falls received.
The basic current pension for a single parent living in their own home with four children and no income is about $160,000 over five years.
The story of the former Caloundra woman made international headlines earlier this year after Ms Falls confessed to killing her husband.
Ms Falls was acquitted of charges of murder and manslaughter despite admitting she drugged her husband by putting sleeping tablets in his favourite meal of curried prawns.
She then shot him twice in the head.
It was May 25, 2006 – the date up until the Commonwealth of Australia alleges Ms Falls received the illegal payments.
Ms Falls later told, in an interview with a leading Australian women’s magazine, how she had now found love with a 39-year-old carpenter.
She told the magazine that she found it special to be called “babe” and “princess” after having “wed a monster”.
She is expected to enter a plea at a hearing set down for December 14 at the Southport Magistrates Court.
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