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Benefit Fraud Weekly Review - 25 - 29 August 2014

Confiscation Order imposed at Belfast Crown Court

At Belfast Crown Court last week a 47 year old Newtownabbey woman had a Confiscation Order issued against her to the value of £20,468.31. This was issued following a conviction in May 2014 when the defendant was found guilty of fraudulently claiming Income Support and Housing Benefit to the amount of £20,468.31.  She was later sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for three years. The defendant has been allowed six months to satisfy the Confiscation Order.  If the Confiscation Order is not satisfied by this date, the defendant must serve a sentence of 15 months imprisonment.
A Belfast woman aged 23 years old received a two year conditional discharge, £31 court costs and a £22 offender levy with four weeks to pay in Belfast Magistrate’s Court for benefit fraud offences.  She had claimed Income Support fraudulently of £2,103.74 while working and had failed to declare this information to the Department. The Judge warned if the court costs and offender levy were not paid within the proscribed time he would impose a custodial sentence
In Craigavon Crown Court, a 34 year old Lisburn woman failed to notify the Department that she was living with her partner.  She fraudulently claimed £44,406.62 in Income Support and Housing Benefit and received a 15 month custodial sentence suspended for three years. In the sentence the Judge took into consideration that she had three children and cares for her father who is in poor health.
A 26 year old Newtownards man appeared in Newtownards Magistrate’s Court for working and continuing to claim benefits. He had fraudulently claimed £2,152.34 in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing Benefit. The Judge commented that it was a very serious offence and sentenced him to a three months imprisonment suspended for two years.

Convictions, Administrative Penalties and Formal Cautions

Each month Single Investigation Service (SIS) offer Administrative Penalties and Formal Cautions in some circumstances.
SIS statistics refer to cases of benefit fraud such as working and claiming, living together cases and failing to declare savings.
SIS convicted 23 customers of benefit fraud in August bringing the total for 2014/2015 to 137
SIS issued 24 Administrative Penalties in August bringing this total to 188 for 2014/2015.
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