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Biggest ever benefits fraudster jailed

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A WOMAN whose six-figure benefit fraud was the biggest the Social Security Department has ever seen has been put behind bars.

Over an eight-year period between 2008 and 2016, Geraldine Bradshaw cheated on her benefits form, claiming over £103,000 that she was not entitled to.

The Royal Court heard on Friday that Bradshaw, who turns 59 this weekend, failed to disclose 27 bank accounts, which contained a combined balance of more than £32,000, and a £55,000 house she inherited in Wales. The amount she owned would have made her ineligible for the level of income support she was receiving.

Her deception was uncovered after an anonymous tip-off to the Social Security Department that she had an undeclared home in Wales. She was jailed for two years by the Royal Court.

As well as benefit payments totalling more than £102,000, the court also heard that Bradshaw fraudulently claimed two special payments worth £657.50 and £280 respectively to cover dental costs.

Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith, presiding, said that the vast sums and the long period of time meant that a custodial sentence was 'unavoidable'. He added that Bradshaw's crimes were 'really no different' to breaking into someone's home and stealing.

Jurats Mike Liston and Jane Ronge were sitting.

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