Benefit cheat lied to authorities to pick up £25,000 of ‘support’ money


A BENEFIT cheat swindled £25,000 over three years by lying to the authorities about her living situation.

Patricia Sullivan, 53, from Newtongrange, told officers of the Department of Work and Pensions and officials at the City of Edinburgh Council that she lived alone with her one dependent child during the period of July 2005 and April 2008.

But she was in fact living with her husband – 61-year-old James Sullivan – the whole time.

The cover-up led to the fraudster being paid £25,000 in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Sullivan pled guilty to the charge at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Tue).

Fiscal Depute Ruth Ross-Davie said: “Mrs Sullivan pretended to officers of the Department of Work and Pensions that she lived on her own with one dependent during the period noted on the charge.

“For this reason the department believed she was eligible when she claimed a number of benefits.

“But Mrs Sullivan was in fact living with her husband at the time, and under these circumstances she would have had her rights to claim reviewed.

“It enabled her to fraudulently collect £25,000 in housing benefit, council tax benefit, and income support benefit.”

Sheriff Isabella McColl deferred sentencing until 21 December this year when pleas of mitigation will be heard.