15 November 2019
Today sees the conclusion of a complex fraud case and successful prosecution identified by the team at Customer and Local Services.
Laurentina Martins Gouveia was prosecuted after giving false information to the Government in claiming over £70,000 of income support she was not entitled to. The Royal Court sentenced the fraudster to 18 months’ imprisonment.
The enforcement team at Customer and Local Services investigate potential fraudulent claims for a wide range of reasons, ranging from false declaration of assets, such as property, to relationship status. Whilst a lot of the suspicious activity is identified by customer service advisors, public reports submitted via the fraud website "Report a Benefit Thief”
and free confidential Fraud Hotline 0800 735 1111 are important sources of information.
Group Director of Customer and Local Services, Steve Jackson, said: “Income Support exists to support islanders who really need it, when they need it. Our officers’ focus is to ensure benefit cheats are brought to justice.
“We’re calling on the public to let us know if they suspect anyone of making fraudulent claims to obtain income support or any other benefit. Their identity will always be protected, whether the allegation is found to be true or not. This case illustrates that this illegal activity is investigated in detail, sometimes drawing on information from other jurisdictions, but it is taken extremely seriously and can carry custodial sentences.”