Benefit cheat had over £86,000 of undeclared savings

Law and order
Law and order

A BENEFIT cheat who had over £86,000 of undeclared savings has been ordered to pay back the money she illegally claimed.

Glenda Bunting, of Main Road in Morton, received over £8,000 in overpaid benefits from North East Derbyshire District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The court heard how the 63-year-old illegally claimed Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credits by failing to declare she had more than £86,000 in undeclared bank accounts, and owned two properties.

The prosecution followed a joint investigation by the council and the DWP into overpayments totalling £8,340 over a 17-month period.

She pleaded guilty to the charge and received a £5,000 compensation order - to be paid within 14 days - when she appeared at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 7 March.

The court also ordered her to pay £275 costs. The remaining £3,340 she fraudulently claimed will be recovered by the Department for Work and Pensions and NEDDC.

Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Pat Kerry, NEDDC Member with responsibility for Finance and Economy, said: “We’re continually investigating suspected benefit cheats and this latest case – the second in the district in just three weeks – should send a clear message that those who are breaking the law will be punished.

“These people are criminals who are stealing money which is intended to help vulnerable people, and we will continue to bring them to justice.

“If anyone suspects someone of benefit fraud we would urge them to contact us in confidence.”

The council is urging the public to get in touch if they think someone is committing benefit theft.

They can call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440, they can report a benefit thief online at www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves or they can contact North East Derbyshire District Council by phoning (01246) 217600 or downloading a report form online at www.ne-derbyshire.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud