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Benefit cheat receives nine-month sentence


A benefit cheat who pocketed almost 38,000 she was not entitled to has been sentenced to nine months in prison.

Sixty-one year-old Ruby Stibbles was caught following an investigation by the Aberdeen City Council Fraud Team after a proactive operation involving a local cleaning company.

Enquiries revealed that Mrs Stibbles had failed to declare employment and that she had a partner staying with her.

From November 2000 to September 2011, Mrs Stibbles, of Kirkwall Avenue, Aberdeen, received 37,821.63 in housing benefit and council tax benefit which she was not entitled to. This will have to be paid back.

Council fraud manager Brian Muldoon said: "I welcome the decision of Sheriff Buchanan. The benefit system is designed to help those in need, not those who are able to provide for themselves but choose not to.

"Our investigators are empowered to obtain information from banks and building societies and we will use these powers when we suspect benefit recipients are hiding money. It is important that all changes in circumstances are declared when claiming benefits."

If you would like to report a benefit cheat, please call the Council hotline on 08456 080922 or log on to Benefit Fraud on the Aberdeen City Council website.