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Benefit Fraud Weekly Review 10th-14th November 2014

Suspended sentences for two men convicted of benefit fraud

At Londonderry Magistrate’s Court a 56 year old man from Belfast was given a custodial sentence for five months which was suspended for two years and £46 court costs. He had not declared that he had capital in excess of the statutory limit and claimed £10,819.98 in Income Support and Housing Benefit fraudulently.
A 50 year old man from Strabane was convicted of landlord fraud. He had fraudulently claimed £5,925.94 in Housing Benefit when his landlord was his daughter.  At Strabane Magistrate’s Court the judge sentenced him to four months imprisonment suspended for one year and £22 court costs with six weeks to pay.
At Dungannon Magistrate’s Court, a 61 year old Dungannon woman appeared for having capital in excess of the statutory limit.  She fraudulently claimed £3,749.67 in Income Support.
Her defence stated that the money belonged to her boyfriend.  The Judge commented that he did not find her boyfriend a credible witness and since the money was in her account the legal owner of the money was the customer.
The court imposed a £400 fine, £15 offender’s levy and £37 court costs.
A 34 year old Newtownards woman was convicted at Newtownards Magistrate’s Court of failing to notify the Department that she was living with her partner.  She had fraudulently claimed £6,299.94 in Income Support and Housing Benefit.  The court sentenced her to a 12 month conditional discharge on each charge to run concurrently and £20 court costs to be paid over four weeks.
This brings the total number of convictions since 1 April 2014 to 200.
If you wish to report benefit fraud please refer to the Benefit Fraud Hotline external link page.
If you wish to read about other cases please refer to: News Releases – Department for Social Development external link