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23 Feb 2015

Benefit fraudster given "financial life sentence"

The future earnings of a benefits fraudster have been seized by the Scottish Crown Office under the terms of a “financial life ­sentence”.

The Crown secured a “nominal” £1 confiscation order against a benefits fraudster – meaning that any future earnings will be reclaimed as criminal profits from her if appropriate.

Shaleena Ahmed, 32, from Pollockshields in Glasgow, was made the subject of a confiscation order after claiming more than £16,000 of benefits which she was not entitled to. As Ahmed had no money to pay up, the court made an order for the “nominal” amount of £1.

The purpose of this order is to maintain the Crown’s position, so that if the accused obtains any assets in the future, the court can be asked to recalculate the ­confiscation order up to the amount the guilty party benefited from the crime.

Lindsey Miller, procurator- fiscal for organised crime and counter-terrorism, said
:The Crown is dedicated to recovering proceeds of crime wherever possible. However, sometimes an accused simply has no assets with which to pay, or it may be more appropriate for them to repay their victims. In these cases, we use the powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act to ask that their full illegal profit is formally recorded by the court and a nominal order for £1 is made against them. This ensures that the Crown can go back to the court should the accused obtain any assets in the future, or fail to repay their victims, and raise the confiscation order up to the total amount they made from their criminal activity.
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