A GOVERNMENT minister has used the case of a Doncaster benefits fraudster to highlight the need for welfare reform.
Lesley Brogan, aged 46, of Cross Hill, Old Skellow, was jailed for 21 months last week for a scam which went on for several years.
She claimed her husband, Alistair, was ‘like a cabbage’ after an accident.
But benefits investigators discovered he was running two businesses, working out at the gym, appearing as a TV and movie extra, and even learning to fly and scuba dive while allegedly disabled.
She also had plastic surgery while claiming benefits.
Sentencing Brogan at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Jacqueline Davies said her offences were driven by ‘naked greed’.
After the case Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform, said: “It’s cases like these that show us why welfare reform is needed.
“We have a duty to the taxpayer and our customers to make sure these vital benefits go only to those who need them. Benefit fraud takes money away from the most vulnerable.
“It is a crime and we are committed to stopping it by catching criminals at the front line and making sure our reforms make the benefit system less open to abuse.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman added: “If you suspect someone is claiming benefits they are not entitled to call our hotline on 0800 854 440. It is open from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.”