Lambeth Council 'fraud buster' set for TV debut

Benefits cheats Diane Ashley received a suspended sentence and her husband was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Benefits cheats Diane Ashley received a suspended sentence and her husband was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

First published in News
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Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A council “fraud buster” who led a crackdown on benefit cheats will star in a new BBC1 documentary.

Michael O’Reilly, who has worked at Lambeth Council for four years, will appear on ‘Saints and Scroungers’ to explain how he and his team exposed a couple who fleeced £120,000 from taxpayers.

Diane Ashley failed to declare she was married to her landlord, Rudolph Pink, or that she co-owned a string of properties when she began claiming from the council.

The case took two years to get to court and involved fraud officers from Lewisham and Thanet where the couple also owned property and claimed benefits.

Mrs Ashley received a suspended sentence and Mr Pink was sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Mr O’Reilly, who spent a day with the film crew said: “ I know I’ll get ribbed in the office about being on TV but programmes like this help send out a very clear signal to benefit cheats that they will get caught and brought to justice.”

Saints and Scroungers is on BBC 1, Tuesday November 12th at 11am.

 

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