Woman who claimed £80k avoids prison
A woman has been handed a suspended prison sentence for claiming nearly £80,000 in benefits she was not entitled to.
Elizabeth Reilly was convicted at Newry Magistrates Court yesterday.
The 42-year-old, of Brookview Close, Bessbrook, claimed income support and housing benefit totalling £77,202 while failing to declare capital. She was given a 15-month prison term suspended for two years, and told to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained.
Separately, a woman was convicted at Coleraine Magistrates Court for wrongly claiming benefits totalling £11,487.
Joanne Burns (47) of Whitehall Avenue, Ballyvoy in Co Antrim claimed housing benefit totalling £11,487 while failing to declare capital. She was given 80 hours' community service.
Mrs Burns has repaid in full the money wrongfully obtained.
Both frauds were uncovered following investigations by the Department for Communities.