A Universal Credit boss stole more than £18,000 in benefits meant for genunie claimants who are struggling to make ends meet, a court has been told.
Judges heard how Rebecca Hanway, a Universal Credit Case Manager, abused her position to divert benefit payments into her own bank account.
The Crown Prosecution Service said that she misrepresented her own circumstances on two Universal Credit (UC) applications and hijacked five additional identities submitting a further five fraudulent Universal Credit claims in their names.
When she created these claims, Hanway supplied her own bank account details so she would receive the Universal Credit Advance Payments.
She also diverted Advance Payments from three other Universal Credit claims into her own bank account.
In total, Hanway fraudulently claimed £18,260.95 in Universal Credit over a period of seven months, from September 2018 to April 2019.
Justine McVitie of CPS Mersey-Cheshire Fraud Unit said: “Rebecca Hanway is a serial fraudster who abused her position of trust in a government department to cheat the public purse out of thousands of pounds.
“In her position she would have been aware of the many genuine claimants of this benefit who genuinely need the help and support of the state to survive.
“Yet, despite earning an income of her own, she cheated and lied her way to claiming money she had no entitlement to.
“There are many demands on public money and cheats and fraudsters take money meant for others who genuinely need it.”
Hanway was sentenced to 16 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours in unpaid work and attend 20 days of a rehabilitation activity.
Correction: This article originally stated that Rebecca Hanway was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 2000 hours of unpaid work. This is incorrect and we apologise for any confusion this may have caused.