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Fraud and prosecutions

Benefits cheat loses gamble

A woman who took a gamble when she claimed unemployment benefits while working for a bookmaker has been handed 150 hours community service, following an investigation by Lambeth Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Janise Morgan, 21, of Kerris House, Tavy Close, Kennington, pleaded guilty to failing to declare that she had commenced employment for William Hill Bookmakers.

Morgan had claimed benefits from Lambeth Council and the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis that she was unemployed and failed to declare that she had commenced employment. She was interviewed jointly by officers from the Department for Work and Pensions and Lambeth Council but denied that she had been working when interviewed. She was overpaid in excess of £2,200 during the period 14/11/2007 to 22/12/2008.

After initially denying the offence at interview, she pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates Court on 22 June 2010 and was sentenced to carry out 150 hours of work in the community and was ordered to pay £250 towards costs.

Councillor Paul McGlone, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “Janise Morgan was entirely motivated by greed and this prosecution shows that benefits cheats in Lambeth will be caught and brought to justice.”

He added: “Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime. It takes money away from the people who need it most which is why we take our responsibility to safeguard the public purse extremely seriously.”

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