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8 Apr 2015

Mother falsely claimed £24k

A benefits cheat mum from Crewe who falsely claimed more than £24,000 has been spared jail.

Paula Mullock, 29, cheated the benefits system by falsely claiming to be a lone parent on a low income.

On March 30, at South and East Cheshire Magistrates Court, Mullock admitted four charges of dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances that she knew would affect her entitlement to Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support.

Her fraud was uncovered by investigators from Cheshire East Council’s benefit investigations team and the DWP.

Magistrates heard that an investigation into Mullock’s claim found that her partner had joined the household in November 2010 and had been supporting her and the family financially.

Despite this, she continued her claim as a lone parent for another three years and six months by providing false statements to the DWP.

As a result, Mullock received a total of £24,694.38 in benefits that she was not entitled to.

Steph Cordon, Cheshire East Council’s head of communities, said: “It is a big mistake for fraudsters to think they can get away with claiming benefits they are not entitled to. They risk being prosecuted and ending up with a criminal conviction for a serious offence of dishonesty. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards benefit fraud because we are determined to ensure that the benefits system works for people who really need help.”

Magistrates sentenced Mullock to 18 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months and 100 hours unpaid work for the community. She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and costs of £85.

Source

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