EXCLUSIVE: Glamorous Service NSW worker is accused of leaking 85 customers’ information to a mate so he could ‘steal more than $150,000 in Centrelink benefits’

  • Selina Saab, 22, accused of stealing 85 customers’ private details
  • Sydney woman worked for Service NSW from July – October 2021 
  • She then allegedly gave them to her friend Salim Merheb, 23
  • He allegedly fraudulently claimed $150,150 in financial benefits

A young government employee is accused of leaking the private information of at least 85 customers and giving them to a friend so he could allegedly steal more than $150,000 in Covid and flood recovery payments. 

Selina Saab, 22, was working as a contractor for Service NSW when she allegedly stole the identification details of 85 Australians between July and October 2021. 

The public servant, from Bankstown in southwest Sydney, allegedly sent the details to Salim Merheb, 23, via a messaging service. 

Merheb is alleged to have used the information to lodge a series of fraudulent applications for government financial relief schemes provided by the Federal Government, estimated to the value of $150,150, over the next eight months. 

Selina Saab, 22, has been charged after allegedly giving private information to a friend

Court documents show Merheb allegedly first claimed at least seven Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments – which paid $1000 per adult to NSW flood victims – between June and July 2021. 

From July to November, he then allegedly switched to submitting for Covid Disaster Payments, which were provided to those unable to work due to public health orders. 

Payments for the scheme ranged from $200 to $750 per week depending on the number of work hours lost, with the higher bracket available for those whose roster was cut by more than 20 hours. 

Merheb then allegedly began targeting the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment – designed to assist Australians unable to work due to Covid-19 isolation.

He allegedly put in three claims on December 9 – the same day the government downgraded the $1500 payment to $750, as isolation periods were slashed from a fortnight to a week. 

Seven days later, the Australian Federal Police executed a search warrant on Merheb’s Mount Pritchard home and seized several items.

However, despite being watched by investigators, police will allege he continued to offend through to March.

In May 2021, he was arrested and charged with possessing suspected proceeds of crime and 33 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Saab worked as a contractor for Service NSW for four months in late 2021

Saab worked as a contractor for Service NSW for four months in late 2021

Police will also allege Merhab was making fraudulent applications as early as April 2021.  

Almost a year later, a Strike Force carried out a dawn raid on Saab’s family’s Bankstown unit about 6.20am on November 3. 

After several items were seized – including electronic equipment, a mobile phone and documents – Saab was arrested and granted bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on December 14. 

Under her bail conditions, Saab must report to police daily between Monday to Friday, reside at her family’s Bankstown home, must not contact witnesses or Merheb, and not commit any offences involving identity information.

Saab is next due to appear in the same court charged with one count of dealing in identification info and using it to commit fraud on 8 February. 

Merheb did not attend a hearing for his case in Parramatta Local Court on Friday. 

The case was adjourned to be heard in the same court on February 3.  

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