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28 Sep 2013

Light sentence for Labour councillor benefit thief

A Labour councillor has admitted benefit fraud.

Lisa Smiles was brought before the court by Sunderland City Council, after being paid more than £2,000 in Housing Benefit which she was not entitled to.

A Labour North spokesperson said the 44-year-old has been suspended from the party and will be subject to its own disciplinary procedures.

Smiles, who represents the St Anne’s ward, appeared at the city magistrates’ court.

She pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to notify the local authority of a change in circumstances.

The 44-year-old, who was elected in May 2011 with 1,908 votes, received £2,318 in payments across 12 months, after she did not declare wages and her councillor’s allowance.

Smiles was fined £150 and ordered to pay £120 towards court costs and a £20 victim surcharge

1 comment:

phil said...

The Northern Echo doesn't report if she had to repay her fraudulent gains, the fine was minimal and not a deterrent to other fraudsters.