Benefit cheats swindled more than £21,500 out of the system

Court news

Court news

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Two benefits cheats, who between them swindled more than £21,500 out of the system, have been ordered to pay back the cash.

Linda Jackson, 65, of East Square, Longton, dishonestly claimed almost £17,000 of housing benefit and council tax benefit, after failing to inform the authorities she had inherited a large sum of money, pushing her savings over the capital limit of £16,000.

She pleaded guilty to two offences of claiming £15,247 housing benefit and £1,714 council tax benefit at Preston Magistrates’ Court. She was fined £160 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. She will also have to repay all the money she stole.

Kirsty Stafford, 38, of Welsby Road, Leyland, was given an eight-week suspended prison sentence, 80 hours of community service and ordered to pay back the money she stole, after fraudulently claiming more than £4,700.

Stafford pleaded guilty to two offences of dishonestly claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit after failing to inform the authorities that her partner Ross Doran was in full-time employment and that she was therefore no longer entitled to claim the benefits.

She received £4,178.80 Housing Benefit and £570.76 Council Tax Benefit that she was not entitled to between September 2012 and March 2013. She was ordered to pay £85 in costs and an £80 victim surcharge.