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13 Apr 2015

Mother jailed for £110k benefit fraud

A mother from Shirley has been jailed after admitting £110,000 worth of benefit fraud.

Teresa Kearney, 49, told Croydon Council she was a single parent when she had been living with her husband.

An anonymous tip-off prompted a joint investigation by the council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

They found that, over a period of six years, Kearney had pocketed £110,845.97 in benefits she wasn't entitled to.

Kearney pleaded guilty to five counts of dishonestly making false representations to obtain benefits.

She was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday.

Richard Simpson, the council's director of finance and assets, said: "This was a prolonged fraud which deprived the hard-working and honest taxpayer out of tens of thousands of pounds.

"We are grateful for the anonymous tip-off which led to this prosecution. It goes to show how we rely on members of the public to tell us about any suspected benefit fraudsters.

"Where we believe fraud is being carried out, we will always investigate and see that those culpable are dealt with by the courts."

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