£12k confiscated from benefits cheat

Smeaton claimed the cash fraudulently

A BENEFITS cheat has been sentenced to community service and had £12,000 confiscated.

Kate Smeaton, 40, claimed the money via income support while pretended to be living alone as an unemployed single parent.

In reality she was living with her husband, who was employed full-time.

Today at Banff Sheriff Court Smeaton was sentenced to 240 hours of community service and had £11,800 confiscated.

Lindsey Miller, Head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD), said: “If you choose to steal from the public purse by committing benefit fraud you will be pursued under the Proceeds of Crime Act for any money you made in this way.

“We will continue to use the law to catch up with benefit fraudsters, and this should not be viewed as an easy way for criminals to make money.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act is being used every day to recover money from all kinds of criminals for its re-investment in good causes. More than £44million has been invested this way already.

“Our message is clear; we are using, and will continue to use, the powers we have available to us to target anyone else chooses to fund their lifestyle through crime.”