18 Feb 2015

Benefit fraud is this easy

A 67-year-old woman who continued claiming benefits despite having more than £100,000 in the bank has been given a suspended prison sentence. (h/t Dave)

Blackburn magistrates heard Hilary Lee told the DWP she only had savings of £500 during a telephone interview.

And the fraudulent claim led to an overpayment of more than £20,000 in housing, council tax and pension benefits.

Lee, of Broadfield, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly making a false statement to obtain benefit.

She was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, made subject to a curfew between 10pm and 5am for three months and she was also ordered to pay £165 costs.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the claims had been fraudulent from the start in 2009 until May 2014:
In essence she has failed to declare to the Department of Work and Pensions and Hyndburn Borough Council that she owned a second property. She inherited the house in 2008 and sold it for £117,000 in 2012. She told officers she only had £500 in savings and has therefore helped herself to £20,254 of tax payers money.
Deborah Morgan, defending, said her client had no previous convictions and all the money had been repaid.

She said that after inheriting the property Lee still considered it her dad’s house. “She did nothing with it for ten years and it was always her intention to move back into that house. You are not going to see her before the court again. This has been extremely traumatic for her and she is genuinely remorseful.”


Just one lie over the phone, and you're quids in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just one lie over the phone, it wont even be that with UC, just make a claim online.

Risk Based Verification now means that if you score a low risk, there is no need to ask for proof of rent, bank accounts, etc.