Benefits fraudster ordered to pay back £190,000
A woman who was jailed for making false benefit claims – including lying that she needed 24-hour care – has been ordered to pay back £189,725 to the taxpayer.
Maribel Milligan, 54, was jailed at Teesside Crown Court after claiming £539,000 in benefits over 11 years. She claimed she was disabled, had no income and lived alone.
She was actually found to be married, and was running a business, as well as owning properties that she had transferred to her husband. She was also found not to be using a wheelchair, and walking unaided.
Following sentencing, the case was passed to the CPS Proceeds of Crime team. An investigation found that she had benefited to the sum of £539,707.78. Aside from money in bank accounts, Milligan had also transferred two houses to her husband.
The CPS argued the houses should be counted as tainted gifts, meaning the homes were transferred to her husband to avoid being confiscated, and that total available assets for Milligan amounted to £189,725.33.
Milligan was ordered to pay the full amount within six months or would be given a further prison sentence of three years at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
Adrian Phillips, from the CPS, said: “Milligan lied for 11 years to fraudulently claim benefits. The Proceeds of Crime team ensured these assets, along with cash in her bank accounts, were restrained so the money could be returned to the public purse.
“The CPS will continue to work to ensure criminals like Milligan will not benefit from the funds made during their crimes.”
Notes to editors
- Adrian Phillips is a Unit Head in CPS Proceeds of Crime
- Maribel Milligan (DOB 08/10/1963) was convicted of five counts of dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit, one count of obtaining services by deception and one count of evasion of liability by deception in February 2017 at Teesside Crown Court.
- She claimed income support, independent living fund, severe disablement allowance, disability living allowance, and housing benefit.
- Milligan received a three year prison sentence in February 2017.