Barby woman jailed for fraudulently claiming £275k in benefits ordered to pay all of it back

Lucy Parker, pictured outside court last year.Lucy Parker, pictured outside court last year.
Lucy Parker, pictured outside court last year.
She is presently in prison

A council worker from Barby who fraudulently claimed more than £275,000 in benefits has been ordered to repay the full amount from behind bars.

Lucy Parker used 20 fake identities to swindle thousands of pounds over a six years, spending the money on luxury holidays and a private school education for her children.

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She was jailed for two and a half years at Warwick Crown Court last April after the Department for Work and Pensions uncovered her sophisticated scam to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit.

Parker, 56, worked in the admin department at Warwickshire University and the social care department at Warwickshire County Council.

She used forged documents including bogus doctor’s letters and tenancy agreements for her false identities.

Following sentencing last year, a Proceeds of Crime timetable was set by the court, and this week she was ordered to repay everything she stole.

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Her house has since been sold and she will now be required to pay the order within three months.

Minister for Welfare Delivery David Rutley said: “It’s despicable that this individual lied so brazenly, using multiple fake identities to steal money from those who need it, and it is right that she has been ordered to pay the money back in full.

“Our fraud investigators are committed to bringing benefit cheats like these to justice – so fraudsters should not think they can get away with lying to us, because we will find them.”

Parker set up at least 20 fraudulent claims for benefits, using genuine identities without their consent or knowledge, including setting up online bank accounts and false identity documents.

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Suspicions were first raised of Parker’s crimes when a member of DWP staff who recognised her under one name saw her attending a different Jobcentre using another alias.

Parker was then sentenced last year to 30 months’ imprisonment.

Fraud and error in the benefits system remains low, with 95 per cent of benefits, worth more than £200bn believed to be paid correctly.

Last year the DWP suspended 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to fraudsters.

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The DWP said it is investing £613m to improve capability and capacity to detect and deter benefit fraud and catch fraudsters, recovering more taxpayer money that funds essential public services.

This will include 2,000 trained specialists to review claims by carrying out property checks, following up earning declarations of self-employed claimants and cross-checking bank details.

The funding will also allow the DWP to build on its existing counter-fraud, cyber security and serious and organised crime work.