PORTADOWN had the highest amount of benefit fraud in the Craigavon borough last year.
A total of £162,398.40 was fraudulently claimed in Craigavon from September 2011 to September 2012, according to recently published statistics.
In the BT62 postcode area, ten cases of benefit fraud were prosecuted with the total amount claimed totalling £53,428.91.
The figures were compiled by The Detail in response to a Freedom of Information request.
In the Portadown postcode area, one case of note involved a 43-year-old woman who was given a conditional discharge for two years and had to pay £52 costs after being convicted of claiming £15,646 in benefits (Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit and Carer’s Allowance) when working.
Meanwhile in the BT63 area, a two month prison sentence suspended for two years was handed out to a 23-year-old man convicted of the wrongful encashment of £251.70 in Jobseeker’s Allowance.
In that area there were just three cases of fraud with the amount claimed totalling £795.84.
And in the BT61 a 24-year-old woman was given a 12 month conditional discharge after being convicted of claiming £3,488 in Income Support when working.
There were also just three cases of fraud in this area totalling £3,828.53
In the Craigavon postcodes of BT64 and BT65 there was almost £53k of benefit fraud.
Three cases were heard in the BT64 area amounting to £32,257.41 claimed illegally.
This included a 29-year-old man was given a two month prison sentence after being convicted of claiming £5,337 in Income Support when he was working. A 65-year-old man living in the same postcode area was given a conditional discharge for three years for the offence of claiming £25,798 in Housing Benefit when he had undeclared capital or assets above the permitted statutory limits.
And in the BT65 there were six cases of benefit fraud cases totalling £20,627.64.
In this area a three month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a £200 fine and £38 court costs were handed down to a 43-year-old man convicted of claiming £6,766 in benefits (Income Support and Housing Benefit) while working.
The postcode data compiled by The Detail relates to people’s addresses at the time of their conviction. A total of £4.5m was fraudulently claimed in benefits related to convictions throughout Northern Ireland during that one year period. However, the total level of benefit fraud estimated to be in the system in 2011 was £19m.
The data obtained from the Department for Social Development (DSD) also shows that a woman who fraudulently claimed more than £87,000 in Income Support and Housing Benefit received 200 hours community service while a prison sentence was handed down to a teenager for illegally drawing down £91 in Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The information can be read at www.thedetail.tv