Sisters left £100,000 continued to claim benefits

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TWO unscrupulous sisters claimed thousands of pounds in benefits, which they knew they were not entitled to, despite inheriting a £100,000 windfall payment after their father’s death.

Sandra Travis, aged 65, and her younger sister Bernadette Monahan, aged 57, admitted benefit fraud after investigators launched an inquiry and found out about their inheritance.

Travis, of Raymond Avenue, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, and Monahan, of Manor Crescent, Grimethorpe, were both executors of their father’s will after he died in 2004.

At the time both sisters were in receipt of housing and council tax benefit.

Travis admitted six charges of benefit fraud, including the submission of false claim forms from 2004 to 2009, which resulted in her receiving £6,687.47 in benefits she knew she was not entitled to.

She also admitted failing to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of the change in her circumstances, which led to her getting £3,291.51 in pension credits to which she was not entitled.

When interviewed she said she was mistaken about what ‘capital’ meant, and did not believe that inheritance money left to her had to be declared.

She was fined £60, ordered to pay £300 in costs, and a victim surcharge of £15.

Her sister admitted two counts of benefit fraud, gave investigators no explanation for why she failed to tell Barnsley Council of her change in circumstances and could not account for where all her money had gone.

She admitted receiving £4,320.42 in housing and council tax benefit to which she was not entitled between 2004 and 2006. Monahan was fined £200, ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.