A Timperley woman has been convicted of a housing benefit scam that saw her claim £54,000 for a house she was actually renting from her sister.
Lorraine Hudson, 51, of Garner Avenue, Timperley was convicted of dishonestly obtaining housing benefit from Trafford Council amounting to £54,081.09.
Hudson, who entered a guilty plea to three offences of dishonestly claiming housing benefit at an earlier hearing in June, was overpaid benefit between February 2006 and June 2015.
She received a six-month custodial sentence for each of the three offences, to run concurrently. The sentence was suspended for 24 months.
She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1168.25 towards the cost of the prosecution. In addition, she is required to repay the benefit she wrongfully obtained from Trafford Council.
Council Counter Fraud Officers uncovered the fraud following a review of Hudson’s claim which highlighted the correct ownership details of her address.
Executive Councillor Patrick Myers, of Trafford Council, said: “Benefit fraud affects us all, it means lost revenue for the authority and the cost of chasing those who commit it through the courts. This can lead to higher council tax bills for us all. The benefits system is there to help those in need not for the benefit of those who use it to defraud the residents of Trafford.
“Trafford Council will use all its powers to bring the perpetrators of benefit fraud to task, and will not hesitate to use the weight of the Courts to achieve this.”