A 64-year-old woman was ordered to pay back over £107,000 at Reading Crown Court on Monday.
Yvonne Doyle, of Borodin Court, Milton Keynes, was sentenced to a total of seven years’ imprisonment in December 2013 after being convicted of 18 offences.
Over a 20 year period she systematically defrauded the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the local council and financial institutions by claiming she was entitled to benefits using false names and names of deceased relatives.
Doyle was convicted of five counts of possession of an identity document (improperly obtained UK/Irish driving licence/passport) with intent, four counts of obtaining services by deception, one count of obtaining a money transfer by deception and eight counts of benefit frauds against the DWP and Milton Keynes Council, totaling £265,388.
The defendant became a director of two companies incorporated in Belize and transferred large sums of the money she had fraudulently obtained to bank accounts held in Gibraltar and Cyprus to conceal her activities. Police enquiries revealed that she had control of these accounts and then transferred money into her husband’s bank account held in Ireland.
The defendant appeared via video link at Reading Crown Court yesterday for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act and was ordered to repay £107,584.10 from her husband’s bank account within six months.
If she fails to do so she will serve a further two years imprisonment op top of her current sentence. All the money recovered will be returned to the victims as compensation.
Det Insp Gavin Tyrrell, Head of the ECU, said: “The Thames Valley Police Asset Recovery Team is determined to remove assets from convicted criminals who benefit from their crime.
“This case shows that anyone convicted of acquisitive crimes will be pursued for their assets irrespective of where they are held.
“This confiscation legislation is powerful legislation for law enforcement agencies that where criminal assets are identified they can be used to repay victims of crime and we will continue to use it in this way.”