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19 Oct 2016

Liverpool couple jailed for £100k benefits fraud

A couple were jailed after ‘taking away’ more than £100,000 in benefits ‘from people who really need help’.

Alexander Pearson, 61, and his partner Veronica Stuart, 64, from Kirkby, scammed tax payers and cheated the system for almost 12 years before being found out by Knowsley Council and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The pair pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to the offences that ended in July 2014.

In total, the couple claimed almost £45,000 in housing benefit, more than £52,000 in income support, more than £10,000 in council tax benefits and a further £1,300 in council tax reductions. All the money claimed was over and above their entitlement and they were both sentenced to a year in prison.

Confiscation proceedings will also now begin to recover some of the overpayments.

A Knowsley Council spokesman said: “This is an excellent outcome. By claiming benefits they are not entitled to, fraudsters take money away from people who really need help. Our message is clear – we will prosecute and take action against those who are fraudulently claiming benefits.”

Knowsley Council said people can report those suspected of benefit fraud by calling 0800 0730 532. There is no need to give a name and calls are treated in confidence.

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