Benefits claimant had £130,000 in the bank
A woman with over £130,000 in the bank has admitted to receiving state benefits which were not due to her
A woman from Burnley in the United Kingdom has been found to have been claiming state benefits while hoarding more than £130,000 in her bank account.
Burnley magistrates heard how Elizabeth Neale received £3,400 of taxpayer money while setting aside an inheritance of £133,000 left to her by her deceased mother.
The Department for Work and Pensions, which has been implementing coalition government plans to stamp out benefit fraud, has said that Neale has yet to repay around £2,000.
Neale admitted three counts of failing to notify authorities over the change in her financial status, affecting her entitlement to jobseekers' allowance, council tax benefit and housing benefit from Burnley Council for the period of August-December 2011.
The defendant, who had no previous convictions, was given a 12 month conditional discharge and was told to pay £100 costs.
A spokesperson for Neale said her mother had died of cancer after being ill for a number of years. Her mother and grandmother had died within two weeks and it had been a very difficult time for her. She added that Neale is now back at college, on an environmental studies course.
Recent figures show the level of fraud convictions over benefits have risen by more than 40 percent amid a new crackdown on benefit cheats. Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, admitted last year that fraud and error was “rife” in the current welfare system.
In 2012, Michelle Taylor, 40, of Bloxwich was handed a 12 week suspended jail term after being convicted of claiming more than £21,000 in benefits due to her 'inability to walk without support or a wheelchair'.
Walsall magistrates heard that she was filmed walking to the gym after an anonymous tip-off to investigators.
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