Lesley Udberg a disabled pensioner fraudulently claimed thousands of pounds in UK benefits while living in Spain.
Udberg from North Shields claim for disability living allowance was genuine, as she had a number of health conditions that meant she was unable to work since her forties.
Although she blagged it for six years, whilst she was living in Spain while still cashing in on government handouts which she was not entitled to.
Udberg was eventually caught by investigators and ordered to appear at Newcastle Crown Court after being charged with the fraud offences.
Now 69 years old Udberg has been given a suspended prison sentence for the £17,000 blag.
Lee Fish, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court the claim for DLA began in 1994 and later became personal independence payment, in 2017.
But Mr Fish added: “Between June 2011 and 2017, she got benefits she was not entitled to because she failed to disclose she was, at the time, living in Spain for about six years.”
The court heard the total over-payment was £17,300, although she has currently paid back more than £4,000 and is paying £50 a week out of her pension.
Judge Robert Spragg sentenced Udberg, who admitted two counts of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances, to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
He told her: “You should have told the authorities back in 2011 of the considerable periods of time you were spending in Spain and you failed to do so.
“There’s no suggestion you were living the high life, in fact, it sounds like quite the opposite.”
After being sentenced, Udberg told the judge from the dock that she was “so sorry”.
Jonathan Cousins, defending, said the claim was legitimate due to several health conditions she continues to have and she is eligible for benefits again now as she lives here.
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