A BUSINESSWOMAN who claimed she could not walk far has been convicted of swindling £11,000 in disability benefits — after being filmed carrying deliveries for her sandwich shop.
Grandmother Julie Peters, who runs Victoria Sandwich in Lee Lane, Horwich, told the Department of Work and Pensions she could not walk far and she had been claiming disability benefits for seven years.
But her dishonesty was revealed when she was caught on camera making deliveries and carrying shopping bags.
Staff at the Department of Work and Pensions caught Peters out following a tip-off.
Peters, aged 56, from Breightmet, was found guilty at Manchester Magistrates Court yesterday of failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions between October, 2008, and November, 2011. Peters told The Bolton News six years ago that she beat depression following breast cancer surgery by launching the Victoria Sandwich business with her daughter, Vicki.
Despite bouncing back from breast cancer she became depressed — but she said her new business venture had helped her beat the illness.
Victoria Sandwich’s website prides itself as being staffed by “some of the nicest people you will meet”.
The firm specialises in eat-ins takeaways and buffets.
After she opened the business, Peters told The Bolton News: “Vicki and I decided to get a place of our own together, and this gave me a real purpose in life.
“When I was at my lowest, I just needed to keep strong and positive and find a way forward — I never dreamed that I’d cook up the answer myself.”
The Bolton News tried to contact Peters but she did not respond.
Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform said: “Benefit thieves are costing the taxpayer £1.2 billion per year.
“This money is intended to help those most in need not line the pockets of criminals.
“We will continue to tackle this problem at the frontline, but also at the root by reforming the benefits system to make it less open to abuse.”
Peters will be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court in March.