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Successful prosecution of benefit fraudster
Scarborough Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a 59
year old woman on six charges of benefit fraud, which resulted in
overpayments from the council and the Department for Work and
Pensions of nearly £85,000.
Carol Blackburn, of Prospect Park, Scarborough, had deliberately
failed to disclose that her landlord was, in fact, her husband and
had made several false statements to the council and the Department
for Work and Pensions claiming to be a single person. She even
claimed using a different name than her married name in order to
conceal her relationship. The offences stretched from 2003 to 2009,
when investigation of her claims began.
Blackburn was sentenced to 10 months custody, suspended for 18
months, although the judge did want to impose a custodial sentence
as it was deserved but had to suspend it due to Blackburn’s health
issues. She has also been ordered to wear an electronic tag and is
confined to her home between 7pm and 7am each day for a period of
Nicholas Edwards, Scarborough Borough Council’s Head of Finance
and Asset Management said:
“The amount of money stolen in this case is truly shocking. This
case represents a prolonged and organised attack on the benefits
system and the public funds that support the most vulnerable in
society. The council will not tolerate fraud and will be taking
steps through the Proceeds of Crime legislation to recover the
money stolen from the defendant's assets.”
Anyone suspecting fraud can call and report a case free and
confidentially on 0800 0568154.