Ipswich: Woman denies fraud charges over neighbours’ pensions

A NEIGHBOUR of a frail elderly couple who helped look after their financial affairs had their pensions paid into her bank account with her own salary and failed to keep records of how the money was spent, it has been alleged.

Brenda Levy, 53, was appointed by the Department of Work and Pensions to receive the couple’s monthly pension payments, which amounted to hundreds of pounds, and to use the money in their best interests, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said the couple, who were both in their 70s, both had “major issues” with alcohol and because of concerns about their ability to look after themselves it was agreed in 2007 that Levy, who was a friend and a neighbour, should receive their pensions on their behalf.

Levy had paid the pensions into her own current account and had kept no records to establish what money was being paid out of the bank account for the couple and what was being paid out for herself. “When one mixes one’s own money with other people’s it can get very messy,” alleged Mr Gair.

Levy, of Kenyon Street, Ipswich, has denied two offences of fraud by position of trust between 2007 and 2010.

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Mr Gair told the court that the couple’s pensions and disability allowance amounted to �1,600 a month. He said the couple didn’t have a lavish lifestyle and a policeman who had looked into their affairs estimated their monthly bills together with �200 a month “pocket money” would have amounted to around �550.

The court heard that Levy told police she had paid the couple’s bills and bought their food and denied acting dishonestly in respect of their pension payments.

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The trial continues today.

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