Cheat has 93 years to pay back �56k stolen from us
A LIAR who swindled her way to more than �50,000 in benefits by claiming she could barely walk was rumbled when she was filmed walking her dogs around Weston Airfield.
Tracy Jones claimed more than �56,000 in mobility allowance over seven years, and has been ordered to pay the money back after admitting getting the money through deception.
But if she continues to repay it at the current rate of �25 a fortnight, she is highly unlikely to ever pay it back in full as it would take her 93 years to do so – making her 143 when she would finish paying it back.
Jones, of Milton Road, had received disability living allowance since 1995.
From 2000 onwards she drew the highest rate of the allowance available for people who are unable to walk, and repeated this claim in 2004.
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In her claim she said she had depression and chronic fatigue and could only walk for short distances.
Although she continued to claim that she was severely disabled and lived on her own, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) received a tip-off in 2007 that she was living with her husband.
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Investigators launched an undercover probe, and in 2008 covertly filmed Jones walking her two black rottweilers for three miles around the airfield.
DWP investigators also confirmed through bank documents, gas bills and Sky TV bills that her husband had in fact been living with her since at least 2002.
At Bristol Crown Court on Friday the 50-year-old pleaded guilty to obtaining the money by deception from 2002 to 2009.
Judge David Ticehurst sentenced her to eight months in jail, which was suspended for 12 months.
She must also complete 100 hours of unpaid community work and is under a 12-month supervision order.
After the case Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud said: “Benefit thieves are costing the taxpayer over �1billion per year. This money is intended to help those most in need, not line the pockets of criminals.
“We will continue to tackle this problem at the frontline but also at the root, by reforming the benefits system to make it less open to abuse.”