Woman pleads guilty to cheating her way to £15,000 in benefits

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A BENEFITS cheat has been told to pay back more than £15,000 in fraudulent claims.

The Chryston woman appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court recently, where she pled guilty to dishonestly claiming benefits after failing to declare she was receiving a private pension.

She will have to pay a fine of £500, as well as the £15,500 in council tax and incapacity benefits she was not entitled to.

The conviction followed a National Fraud initiative carried out jointly by North Lanarkshire Council’s benefit fraud team and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Andrew McLean, the council’s sanctions and fraud manager, said: “We have a duty to protect the public purse and we want to make sure only those entitled to claim benefits receive them.

“We will pursue those making false claims through the courts with our fraud team following up on any information we receive.”

Policy and resources convener Councillor Bob Burrows added: “I want to assure our residents that while we are keen to help all those who are entitled to benefits, we are also focused on preventing fraudulent claims.”

Anyone with information about suspected fraud in the North Lanarkshire area can call the council’s confidential benefit hotline on 0800 953 0400.

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