A benefit claimant who failed to declare she was living with her partner has been ordered to pay back more than £15,000.
Sally Palmer, of Swineshead Road, Boston, was also given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years – and ordered to pay £100 costs along the with the housing and council tax benefits totalling £15,651.
The prosecution was part of a joint exercise between Boston Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions in a crackdown on those failing to declare their true circumstances.
Fraud Investigators have the legal powers to obtain information from employers, banks, utility providers and even vehicle records to detect fraudulent claims and used these powers to uncover the extent of the fraud in this case.
Through their enquiries they discovered Palmer had married her partner and had been living with him for more than two years but had failed to tell either the Jobcentre or the council about this change in her circumstances.
The court was told fraudulent claims aren’t always false from the beginning.
The council says most people declare their true circumstances when they make their claims and receive benefits to which they are entitled but some then do not report any changes.
The council also work with revenue and customs, the police, other local authorities and various other agencies to target those making fraudulent claims.
Palmer appeared before Boston magistrates on September 30, when she admitted fraudulently claiming benefits she was not entitled to.