Flintshire woman admits £4k benefits fraud

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A WOMAN has admitted a benefits fraud.

Alison Jayne Lane, 40, of Highmere Drive, Connah’s Quay, claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit on the basis that her only income was jobseeker’s allowance and that she was living alone.

But a court heard that she was working and that there were two sons living at home.

She had been overpaid £4,131, prosecutor Bryony Tomlinson told Flintshire Magistrates’ Court at Mold.

Magistrates gave her a two-year conditional discharge with £287 costs.

The court heard how Lane had been claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit from at least April 2001 on the basis that she was living alone and that her sole income was that of jobseeker’s allowance.

Neither was true, said Miss Tomlinson, prosecuting for Flintshire County Council.
In February, it was discovered that she had stopped claiming jobseeker’s allowance and had been in full-time employment since March last year.

Evidence was also uncovered that suggested that her two sons were living at home.

During interview in April, she denied that her elder son was living at home, despite the fact that he was claiming jobseeker’s allowance from her address and she had put him down as living at her home address as next of kin when she filled in new employee details at her place of work.

Lane told how she had since been laid off, apologised and said that her actions were not fraudulent as it was not her style.

Miss Tomlinson said the fraud could have continued indefinitely if it had not been uncovered by a member of the council’s staff, who forwarded her suspicions to the investigation team.

Howard Jones, defending, said that his client had admitted failing to notify the authority of a change of circumstances between January 2007 and March 2010.

She had made certain admissions in interview and she was a woman of no previous convictions.

The defendant had been on low wages, the benefit had been a small amount each week, but it had clearly built up over time.

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