Benefit cheating lottery winner avoided prison

January 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Lottery News, Lottery Winners

A woman who won over £150,000 playing the UK National Lottery has narrowly avoided being sent to prison after being charged with benefit fraud, to the frustration of the judge. A recent change to the legal system in the UK meant that the benefit cheating lottery winner avoided prison and was handed a suspended prison sentence instead.

Single mother Sandra Bellamy, 52, won £154,026 playing the National Lottery back in May 2006 but rather than use her new found lottery wealth to support herself she reopened a claim for income support, housing and council tax benefits and claimed nearly £15,000 before being discovered.

When Bellamy realised that she had won a massive lottery prize she did what she was supposed to and closed her benefit claim but gave Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) staff no reason for ending it. However, within a few weeks lottery winner Bellamy had fraudulently reopened her claim without mention of her National Lottery payout.

Bellamy posed as a struggling single mother to claim further benefit handouts, from an already overstretched social fund even though she had thousands of pounds in the bank plus she was earning £3,000 per month from renting out the two of her three properties that she owns. None of this information was disclosed to the DWP as it would have stopped the benefit cheating lottery winner from getting a single penny.

This lottery news story ends with trial Judge Samuel Wiggs stating that Bellamy could previously have been sent to prison for claiming benefits after winning the lottery and owning substantial assets, but a recent overhaul of UK sentencing guidelines had left him unable to do any more than hand the benefit cheat a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and order her to perform 200 hours community service.

Don’t forget you can buy tickets to the National Lottery and many other lotteries from around the world right here at Online Lotto.