Woman admits £56,000 benefit fraud
A WOMAN swindled almost £56,000 over a six-year period by claiming her husband did not live with her.
Bolton magistrates were told that Julie Harrison, aged 47, first applied for benefits at the Job Centre in February, 2006 by claiming she was a single parent with two children.
She was awarded Income Support and also given housing and council tax benefits.
But her deception came to light after she was transferred on to Employment and Support Allowance in January, 2011.
Rebecca Kirk, prosecuting on behalf of Bolton Council, told the court how investigators learned that Harrison had a non-dependant son living at her home in Pimlott Road, Hall i'th' Wood, and asked her to attend an interview on January 25, 2012.
She claimed her husband Shaun had returned home just two weeks earlier having been estranged for six years but checks with Mr Harrison’s employer revealed he had given the family home as his address when he was supposed to be living elsewhere.
Harrison pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to notify a change in circumstances affecting entitlement to housing and council tax benefits, income support, employment support and job seekers allowance. Magistrates were told that the amount of money wrongly given to Harrison was £55,956.
She will appear at Bolton Crown Court for sentencing on November 4.