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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Workington benefits cheat claimed more than £4,300 - court

A Workington woman has appeared in court for fraudulently claiming more than £4,300 in housing and council tax benefits.

Marion McFarlane, 50, of Davies Road, had claimed housing and council tax benefits since November 2008 as a single person in receipt of a low income, magistrates heard.

However in April this year, Allerdale council received information that McFarlane’s earnings were higher than those she had declared.

West Cumbria Magistrates Court heard that following an investigation by council officers, it was determined that she had consistently provided pay slips in support of her benefit applications which were lower than her average wage.

McFarlane was interviewed by a council officer and agreed that she had received benefits to which she was not entitled as she had not notified the council of the true amount of her earnings.

The court heard that McFarlane was overpaid housing and council tax benefits amounting to £4,340.10 between March 2009 and June 2012.

She admitted failing to notify a change in circumstances, which resulted in her obtaining housing and council tax benefits to which she was not entitled.

McFarlane was given a curfew for eight weeks and ordered to pay costs of £75. The overpaid benefit is being recovered.

  • Members of the public who suspect benefit fraud is being committed can call Allerdale Borough Council’s 24-hour Benefit Fraud Hotline in confidence on 0800 169 5119 or complete, anonymously, an online form at www.allerdale.gov.uk/benefitfraud

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