That’s the message from the leader of Gosport’s council after a woman was caught cheating the taxpayer of £25,000 in tax credits.
Faye Turner, 42, was hauled in front of a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court after failing to tell the Department for Work & Pensions her circumstances had changed for four years.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Councillor Mark Hook said the case showed a ‘flagrant disregard.’
Speaking after the case, he said: ‘For the vast majority of people who work hard and pay their taxes to help those in need and the vulnerable, they find this sort of behaviour absolutely abhorrent.
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‘People deserve what they get when they try and cheat the system.
‘There are systems in place to help those who are in need.
‘This individual has a flagrant disregard for other people and cheated the system.
‘It says a lot about the individual.’
The court heard Turner failed to tell the Department for Work & Pensions she had been living with her partner.
It means that between January 26, 2010 and September 24, 2014, she received £24,528.48 she was not entitled to.
Sentencing, judge Ian Pearson said: ‘This was a serious offence.’
He added: ‘This was a longstanding fraud. It wasn’t just a single overpayment.’
Turner, who had no previous convictions, was given a 24-week prison term, suspended for two years.
She must complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £341 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.
The court heard Turner, of Charlesbury Avenue, Gosport,is willing to pay back the cash but had not heard from the DWP so had not started to do so.
She pleaded guilty to the single offence of failing to notify a change in her circumstances.