£15,000 Ipswich benefit cheat spared jail

Couple in court accused of being benefit cheats

Couple in court accused of being benefit cheats - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich benefit cheat has been spared prison after she fiddled more than £15,000 in false claims over 29 months.

Lorna Moy, of Newnham Court, pleaded guilty to four charges when she appeared before Ipswich magistrates.

The 31-year-old admitted two charges of failing to notify the DWP and Ipswich Borough Council of a change of circumstances in relation to income support and housing benefit.

She also admitted making a false statement to obtain a council tax benefit from the borough council, and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent payment of tax credits from HM Customs and Revenue.

All the offences occurred on or between October 22, 2012, and March 17, last year.

At the time Moy did not declare she was living with her partner Paolo Rodrigues.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the total overpayment of benefits that Moy was not entitled to came to £15,387.38.

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She had claimed the money on the grounds she was living alone as a single parent with two children.

An investigation into Moy began and revealed Mr Rodrigues was living with her.

Surveillance was conducted and it showed his Vauxhall Combi van was parked outside Moy’s property on 18 out of 19 days during the time officers kept watch.

When initially confronted Moy had claimed Mr Rodrigues had been helping her with her children following a bereavement.

Magistrates gave Moy, who had no previous convictions, an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

She must also pay £100 costs and £80 to the victims’ fund.

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