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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbrian housing benefits cheat sentenced by Carlisle court

A divorcee who claimed housing benefits despite receiving a £45,000 divorce settlement was taken to court by Allerdale council.

Forty-year-old Alison Mary Turner, of West Street, Fletchertown, was prosecuted by the council for claiming more than £4,000.

Carlisle magistrates heard how Turner had claimed benefits since 2007 for a home in Allhallows Terrace, and then from August 2008 at her present address.

Allerdale council got information in February last year from the Housing Benefit Matching Service which suggested her capital was higher than she had declared.

The court heard how Turner was interviewed and admitted she had failed to declare her true worth.

Council investigations showed she had received more than £45,000 in 2007 as a one-off divorce settlement, which had been used to buy a car, a holiday and pay a year’s rent in advance for the house in West Street.

Turner also applied for housing benefit for the West Street house in August 2008 when she declared she had capital of less than £1,000. Her actual capital was £10,295.47, the court heard.

Turner admitted two offences of making a false representation on a housing benefit claim form and was overpaid a total of £4,130.75.

She was fined £360 and ordered to pay costs of £371 and a £15 victim surcharge.

The court heard that the benefits were being recovered.


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