Chorley mum in £3k fraud

First published in News

A Chorley mum who failed to report her partner had moved in with her falsely claimed almost £3,000 in benefits.

Susan Dickson, 34 of Delamere Place, pleaded guilty to failing to promptly report a change in her circumstances in respect of her claims for Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, when she appeared before Preston Magistrates Court.

The court was told that Dickson had made a genuine claim as a single parent but she failed to report to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Chorley Council that her partner had moved in.

Councillor Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “This is another excellent example of the council working together with our DWP colleagues to stamp out benefit fraud. The fraud came to light from information received anonymously by the council.

“If anyone has any information or suspicions about a benefit claim that may not be correct I would urge them to contact the National Fraud Helpline on 0800 328 6340. The call is free and confidential.

“It is really important that people in receipt of benefit notify changes in circumstance promptly, otherwise like Miss Dickson, they could end up with a criminal record and a large overpayment to pay back.

“Also, under new legislation which came into force in 2010, any benefits they currently receive could be reduced as a result of a conviction for benefit fraud.”

Dickson was fined £35 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Steps are being taken to recover the money in full.

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