A Western Sydney man has become one of the first people accused of ripping off the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme.

Khaled Alameddine of South Granville allegedly lodged claims for a staff member he didn't have.

The 26-year-old has been charged with four counts of making a false or misleading statement to the Commissioner of Taxation.

The Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday heard that Alameddine had pleaded not guilty.

He was not required to attend but later told The Daily Telegraph: "There's no story. I did nothing wrong."

Khaled Alameddine of South Granville. Picture: Facebook
Khaled Alameddine of South Granville. Picture: Facebook

He made no further comment.

According to the court file, it is alleged that Alameddine "intentionally made a statement to a taxation officer in a JobKeeper … Registration Form for Direct Tree Services … and was reckless as to whether the statement was false or misleading in a material particular" contrary to section 8N of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

The Australian Taxation Office claims Alameddine enrolled Direct Tree Services in JobKeeper in May this year, with him as the "eligible business participant" and one additional employee.

Claims for the additional employee were made for April, May and June which added to $9000.

But the ATO has alleged that following an investigation it established the person "was not and has never been an employee of Direct Tree Services."

Khaled Alameddine.
Khaled Alameddine.

Alameddine participated in a voluntary recorded interview with the ATO and was asked to provide information and documents to verify Direct Tree Services' entitlement to JobKeeper payments for the worker.

However, "the defendant failed to supply the requested information and documentation," the ATO said in the document filed with the court.

Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson ordered that a brief of evidence be served by February 2, with a reply due two weeks later.

The ATO is pursuing 19 investigations and prosecutions over alleged rorting of JobKeeper - the largest bailout scheme in Australian history.

Five of these are under the charge of the ATO-led Serious Financial Crime Taskforce - which includes the Australian Federal Police as well as corporate regulator ASIC - and involve possible Criminal Code Act offences.

The Alameddine case is one of the other 14. It is believed to be the first of these to come to public attention.

Nearly $1 billion worth of JobKeeper payments have been stopped or clawed back.

Originally published as Accused scammer denies JobKeeper rort


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