Ipswich: Benefit cheat admits £15k claims fiddle

Woman falsely claimed £15,000 in benefits over seven-year period

Woman falsely claimed £15,000 in benefits over seven-year period - Credit: PA

A BENEFIT fraud cheat was convicted after admitting claiming more than £15,000 illegally for nearly seven years.

Ms Danielle Pearce, of Fletcher Road, Ipswich, was sentenced to carry out 200 hours unpaid work after South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court was told she fraudulently claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and Job Seekers Allowance claims.

The offences related to failing to notify both Ipswich Borough Council and the Jobcentre Plus that her partner had been living with her during the time she had claimed benefits, which dated back to February 2006.

As a result of an investigation led by the Corporate Fraud Unit at Ipswich Borough Council Ms Pearce appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on February 5 where she admitted to the dishonesty charges.

Ms Pearce attended South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to charges of failing to declare a relevant change of circumstances in relation to housing benefit, council tax benefit and Job Seekers Allowance claims.

The combined total overpayment of benefits was £15,787.18 which Ms Pearce is currently repaying back on a weekly basis.

Judges also ordered her to pay £150 in prosecution costs during the sentencing on February 27.

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An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “The council is always vigilant and determined to investigate fraud against the council and council tax-payers.”

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