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3 Sep 2013

£100k Pontypool benefit cheat jailed

A woman has been sentenced to a year in prison for fraudulently claiming more than £100,000 in benefits.

Tiffany Squires, 52 (pictured smoking) was found guilty of two counts of failing to notify a change of circumstances by a jury on August 9 at Merthyr Crown Court.

Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees sitting at Cardiff Crown Court heard Squires had been overpaid a total of £102,361 in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit over five and a half years.

Squires had failed to notify the Department of Work and Pensions she was living with her partner Leanne Griffiths.

The court heard Squires was prepared 'as best as she can be’ for a period of imprisonment, but that despite the problems Squires and Ms Griffiths are now closer than ever and have recently become engaged.

The Recorder said:
As we have heard, this totals more than £100,000 over a five and a half year period. The circumstances are that you were living in a partnership with Leanne Griffiths as if you were civil partners. The jury refuted what you said, that she was living there just a few nights a week. On September 25 an investigating officer, having received a report indicating you were living together, put the allegation to you, and you denied that was the state of affairs. You knew perfectly well what you were doing was wrong. But your claims were not fraudulent at the outset.
Squires was sentenced to 12 months in prison and must serve half.

The court heard Squires has no regular income and no longer receives income support. but has agreed to pay back £5 a week of the housing and council tax benefits.

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