Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Woman's £9,000 benefit fraud

A 55-year-old woman has been convicted of benefit fraud amounting to nearly £9,000.

Joyce McGowan, of Detling Close, Sheerness, was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, when she appeared at Maidstone Crown Court.

She had pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Theft Act 1968 when she appeared at Sittingbourne Magistrates' Court in March.

Between August 20, 1999, and February 17, 2003, she submitted seven separate application forms to Swale Borough Council and dishonestly made false representations in order to obtain housing benefit and council tax benefit.

On each form she failed to disclose that she was receiving occupational pension from Kent County Council. The fraud was detected as a result of a data matching exercise between pensions and benefit records.

In passing sentence, the judge commented that she owed her freedom to the fact that she had repaid the money promptly and because she has the caring responsibility for her elderly mother.

A spokeswoman for Swale Borough Council said: "This is the second prosecution that the council has achieved in the past few weeks. We hope that it sends out a strong message to the public that we will make every effort to eradicate benefit fraud and to potential cheats in particular that we will use the full force of the law.

"If anyone has any information that will assist us to stop fraudulent claims they should contact our anti-fraud hotline on 01795 417714."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More