08/09/2011

Named And Shamed: Frauds Pay Penalty

A dozen people have been caught fiddling the benefits' system in Northern Ireland.

All have been identified on the Department of Social Development's (DSD) own website - a new development - and have had their details circulated to the local media in each of the areas concerned.

Four people were convicted at Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday for claiming benefits they were not entitled to.

Danielle Boyd (19) of Virginia Way, Belfast was fined £300 ordered to pay court costs of £25 for wrongful encashment of Job Seekers Allowance and Social Fund totalling £201.

John Johnston (38) of Colinbrook Drive, Dunmurry was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £73 for failing to declare employment while claiming Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance totalling £5,242.

Stuart Hall (34) of Sunningdale Gardens, Belfast was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £37 for failing to declare employment while claiming Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £2,956.

Christine Bradley (47) of Monagh Drive, Belfast was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £37 for failing to declare employment while claiming Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £7,963.

Elsewhere, eight people were also convicted at Craigavon Magistrates Court for claiming benefits they were not entitled to.

Denis Fulton (57) of High Street, Gilford was fined £150 and ordered to pay court costs of £19 for wrongful encashment of Income Support totalling £163.

Brendan Douglas (29) of Ballyronan Park, Portadown was fined £125 and ordered to pay court costs of £19 for wrongful encashment of Job Seekers Allowance totalling £96.
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Craig Steele (26) of Greenhill Park, Lurgan was fined £240 and ordered to pay court costs of £19 for wrongful encashment of Job Seekers Allowance totalling £312.

Dinah Boyle (30) of Union Street, Portadown was fined £250 and ordered to pay court costs of £19 for wrongful encashment of Job Seekers Allowance totalling £94.

Shauneen Judge (25) of Woodside Green, Portadown was given 120 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £102 for failing to declare employment while claiming Job Seekers Allowance totalling £94.

Paul Smith (25) of Enniskeen, Portadown was given three months imprisonment suspended for two years, fined £200 and ordered to pay court costs of £38 for failing to declare employment while claiming Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £6,766.

Stephanie Roland (27) of Knockshane Meadows, Lurgan was given 80 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £138 for failing to declare employment while claiming Income Support totalling £902.

Judith Horner (28) of Redhill Road, Dromore was given 200 hours community service and ordered to pay court costs of £37 for failing to declare employment while claiming Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £6,201.

All are also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Social Security Agency.

Naming and fully identifying the guilty on the DSD website is a recent development.

It follows a campaign by www.4NI.co.uk that successfully lobbied the DSD Minister, Nelson McCausland to change his Department's policy that previously restricted the full names and details to going to local media - and did not publish the information on the DSD and NI Executive pages.

See: 4NI Wins Fraudsters' Identity Battle

(BMcC/GK)

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