Mother jailed for £100k benefit fraud

 

A Shirley mother has been jailed for a year after cheating her way through more than £100,000 in benefits.

Teresa Kearney, aged 49, of Poppy Lane, lied to the council claiming she was a single parent, when she had been living with her husband.

An anonymous tip off led to a joint investigation by the council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Over a period of six years, Kearney pocketed £110,845.97 in benefits she wasn’t entitled to.

Kearney had pleaded guilty to five counts of dishonestly making false representations to obtain benefit.

She was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday (8 April).

Richard Simpson, the council’s director of finance and assets, said: “This was a prolonged fraud which deprived the hard-working and honest taxpayer out of tens of thousands of pounds.

“We are grateful for the anonymous tip off which led to this prosecution. It goes to show how we rely on members of the public to tell us about any suspected benefit fraudsters.

“Where we believe fraud is being carried out, we will always investigate and see that those culpable are dealt with by the courts.”

If you suspect someone of benefit fraud call the Department for Work and Pensions benefit fraud hotline on 0800 854 440.

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