October 28, 2020

Couple cheated taxpayers on dream wedding to Cuba


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26B455E800000578-2997682-Tracey_Dougherty_and_Stephen_Turner_conned_officials_out_of_almo-m-3_1426549454394By Jennifer Smith From MailOnline UK

Brazen couple who cheated taxpayers out of £90,000 went on dream wedding to Cuba while they were on bail for benefits fraud (and even used the cash to take TWENTY friends with them)

Tracey Dougherty and Stephen Turner claimed almost £90,000 together
Couple denied living together in Wigan to become eligible for handouts
26B455F100000578-2997682-image-m-2_1426549302978They flew 20 guests to Cuba for a lavish wedding while on police bail
A month earlier they had been arrested for suspected fraud by officials
Dougherty, 38, was jailed for eight months at Liverpool Crown Court
Her 60-year-old husband was told to repay money fraudulently claimed

A couple falsely claimed £90,000 in benefits to fund their dream wedding in Cuba which took place while they were 26B4560E00000578-2997682-image-a-5_1426536547174on bail for previous fraud.

Tracey Dougherty, 38, and Stephen Turner, 60, claimed tens of thousands of pounds together over a period of 15 years.

Dougherty told officials she was a single mother of four to claim income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit while Turner claimed out-of-work benefits despite being a self-employed driving instructor.

26B61D5A00000578-2997682-image-a-8_1426550223989Tracey Dougherty and Stephen Turner conned officials out of almost £90,000 in benefits that was used in part to fund their lavish Cuba wedding

The couple’s deception was discovered when police searching their Wigan home found wedding invitations on which Ms Dougherty boasted about paying for guests’ flights.

She was jailed for eight months while her husband was ordered to repay more than £2,000 following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

The court heard how Dougherty had been claiming taxpayer’s money on the premise that she was a single parent since 2000.

She had in fact moved in with Turner who was also given government money as his mother’s carer for a spell.

Alone the woman claimed more than £84,000 over 12 years, all the while living with her partner.

In August 2013 the couple were arrested when officials suspected they had been committing benefit fraud.

The following month, after denying living together, they married in the exotic setting while on bail, the conditions of which did not prevent them from travelling abroad.

They both pleaded guilty to falsely claiming benefits at Liverpool Crown Court. Council bosses have slammed their behaviour since.

Councillor Paul Kenny said: ‘This couple lived a lavish lifestyle at the expense of the local taxpayer.

‘At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, this kind of behaviour will no doubt frustrate those footing the bill.

‘Benefits are there for people who need them, not for those who want to subsidise their income and pay for expensive holidays.’

The couple appeared before Liverpool Crown Court where they admitted benefit fraud. Dougherty was jailed for eight months while her husband must repay more than £2,000

Tracey Dougherty and Stephen Turner conned officials out of almost £90,000 in benefits that was used in part to fund their lavish Cuba wedding
The couple flew 20 guests to the exotic destination for their 2013 nuptials after being bailed for fraud
Ms Dougherty claimed benefits for a single parent despite living with her partner and her four children for 12 years

For more on this story go to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2997682/Benefits-couple-cheated-taxpayers-90-000-used-cash-fund-dream-wedding-Cuba-flying-20-guests-20-000.html#ixzz3UxDbvBtK

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