Shrewsbury benefits cheat who wrongly claimed £32,000 told to explain where money is

A convicted benefits cheat who fraudulently claimed tens of thousands of pounds has appeared before a judge over the whereabouts of her money.

Shrewsbury Crown Court
Shrewsbury Crown Court

Evelyn Griffiths was convicted of fraudulently claiming nearly £20,000 in employment allowance and more than £12,000 in housing benefit between 2014 and 2018.

A proceeds of crime hearing at Shrewsbury Crown Court was told no agreement had so far been made over how much the 64-year-old should repay the public purse due to her lack of response to investigators.

The hearing was told by a Department of Work and Pensions investigator that further checks were being made into whether sums of cash had been withdrawn from Griffiths’s bank account the day after she received a letter from the agency regarding the latest proceedings.

Judge Martin Hurst told Griffiths: “This case is not going to go away. They invited you for an interview and very soon afterwards you emptied your bank account of cash.

“You need to explain what happened to that money.

“The burden is very much on you or else you will put yourself a risk of going to prison.”

Griffiths, of Wingfield Gardens, Ditherington, in Shrewsbury, was sentenced to 29 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months in February this year after pleading guilty to two counts of dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances.

Her claims for the benefits were initially legitimate, but she failed to let the authorities know when she came into money. At one stage she had £37,000 in her account.

Griffiths claimed she was saving the money as a nest egg due to being worried about paying her bills and losing her home. But the DWP launched an investigation into her finances following a credit check.

The case was adjourned until January 8.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News