Benefit cheat in court for third time

A BENEFIT cheat who failed to disclose that her husband have moved back in with her has been put on a curfew.

Lorraine Finlay, aged 52, of Bridge Street, Runcorn, admitted that she had failed to declare a change in her circumstances.

The court heard that she had two previous convictions for the same offence.

Magistrates sentenced her to a curfew for 12 weeks, from 7pm to 7am, and ordered her to pay £150 costs.

Finlay applied for housing benefit and council tax benefit on September, 13, 2011, declaring she had separated from from her husband a week earlier.

She said she was in receipt of disability living allowance and incapacity benefit.

On February 10, 2012, the council’s tax department received a letter from Finlay regarding an overpayment of benefit.

She asked the council to stop taking money out of her ex-husband’s earnings as he no longer lived at her address and she was taking full responsibility for the debt.

The case was referred to the benefit investigation department as it was suspected that Mr Finlay was still living with her.

When interviewed under caution on June 12, 2012, she admitted that her husband had moved back in with her on December 19, 2011 and that she should have informed the council’s benefit section.

Finlay received an overpayment of housing benefit and council tax of £1,858.28, from December 26, 2011, to July 8, 2012.

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