Woman prosecuted for benefit fraud

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A MARRIED woman who lived with her husband but claimed she lived alone received more than £50,000 in benefits which she was not entitled to over a decade before being caught by the authorities.

Jacqueline Robinson was given an eight-month suspended prison sentence yesterday at York Crown Court after admitting to defrauding the taxpayer at an earlier hearing.

Mrs Robinson, 67, of Tostig Avenue, York, claimed benefits from York City Council and the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), telling the authorities that she lived alone.

An investigation on behalf of the council and the DWP uncovered that Mrs Robinson had in fact been living with her husband who was working full-time. By failing to declare her true circumstances on several application forms between 2002 and 2012 she received £35,246.90 in housing benefit, £8,399.32 in council tax benefit and £10,075.20 in DWP benefits to which she was not entitled.

Having initially pleaded not guilty at York Magistrates’ Court, Mrs Robinson changed her plea to guilty to all eight counts of fraud put to her at Crown Court in February.

At that time she had been warned by the judge that she may be sent to prison.

Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross, York City Council’s cabinet member for crime and stronger communities, said: “This was a long and deliberate fraud which saw Jacqueline Robinson make a significant financial gain for herself at a detriment to all tax payers. This is not behaviour that society should have to endure and we work hard with agencies such as the Department for Works and Pensions to bring fraudsters to justice.”