Benefits cheat jailed

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Crime news
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A LOCAL benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed tens of thousands of pounds has been handed a nine month suspended prison sentence.

Susan Roberts, 48, of Belmont Avenue, Hindley, was found guilty of fraudulently claiming £64,989.95 at Wigan Magistrates Court last Friday (15th November).

Appearing before the court, Ms Roberts admitted claiming benefits as a single person while living with her partner for the last nine years, who was in full time employment.

Ms Roberts’ unscrupulous actions came to light after Wigan Council received an anonymous tip off to their benefit fraud hotline.

Following a joint investigation between Wigan Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and the police, a search of the property took place and numerous pieces of evidence were seized. Ms Roberts was interviewed at Wigan Police station and admitted that her partner Dennis Higson had been living with her since Christmas 2002.

Ms Roberts received a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years and has been ordered to repay every penny of the overpaid benefit, which includes £53,698.10 in Income Support, £4,151.53 in Housing Benefit and £7,140.32 in Council Tax Benefit.

If you suspect someone of fraudulently claiming benefits, call the benefit fraud hotline on 0800 328 6340.