Woman with secret savings claimed £40,000 in benefits
A 48-YEAR-OLD woman cheated the public purse out of almost £40,000 by claiming benefits.
Teresa Bracken admitted failing to tell the Department for Work and Pensions that she had more than £16,000 of capital between 2004 and 2010, when she claimed housing benefit and income support.
Derby Crown Court heard that she would not have been entitled to £39,096 over this period if she had disclosed her savings.
But Balvinder Bhatti, prosecuting, said: "It was not fraudulent from the outset."
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The court was told that, since being found out, Bracken, of Hawthorn Street, Derby, had repaid the money.
Handing Bracken an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Stephen Lowne said: "You have defrauded the public purse, which at the moment is very, very tight.
"At least you had the good sense to plead guilty and also have paid the money back, which is unusual in these types of offences."
She will be supervised by the probation service, must do 200 hours' unpaid work and pay £200 court costs.