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Herefordshire's biggest cheat made almost £70k until rumbled
9:13am Friday 25th October 2013 in News
A BENEFIT cheat ran up almost £70,000 in false claims before getting caught in one of Herefordshire Council’s largest cases of benefit fraud.
Ann Bean, 64, of College Road, Hereford, provided false statements and lied to the council about a relationship with her lodger, Jason Morgan.
The couple lived together for almost 10 years, yet Bean continued to claim housing and tax benefit as a single person, defrauding both the council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Over that period Bean cost the public nearly £70,000 – the equivalent of either six teaching assistants’ salaries, or the cost of reopening the public lavatories in Hereford and Ledbury.
As well as being a landmark case for the council, it was also one of the largest overpayment cases dealt with by Hereford Magistrates court.
Appearing there last Friday, Bean pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to notify a change of circumstance to DWP for income support and pension credit and to the council for housing and tax benefit.
She also admitted two charges of dishonesty, namely providing false statements to obtain benefit from the DWP and the council.
Bean started her scam in 2003, but was found out earlier this year.
She will be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on November 22.
There have been no charges are being brought against Mr Morgan.
Speaking after the hearing, Mike Jones, the council’s senior litigator, said: “We hope that this successful prosecution will be a deterrent to others.”
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