A benefits cheat who claimed she could barely walk when she was in fact working full-time as a family support worker is facing a proceeds of crime action for around £60,000.
Diane Halko, 55, told the Department for Work and Pensions she had a severe disability and could only walk a short distance with the aid of sticks.
But for several years Halko was working for Angus Council and Aberlour Childcare Trust and showing no signs of such mobility problems.
Prosecutors have lodged a proceeds of crime action against Halko to get back money they claim she was not entitled to receive in benefits. The figure, confirmed by the Crown to be about £60,000, is more than the figure Halko admitted claiming when she appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court last week.
Halko, Bloomfield Road, Arbroath, admitted claiming £40,168.39 Disability Living Allowance fraudulently between May 25 2011 and December 12 2017.
Depute fiscal Charmaine Gilmartin told the court: “The accused was awarded care and mobility payments of DLA in 2006 after a road accident.
“The accused failed to declare she was in receipt of earnings and had an improvement in her ability.”
The court was read a lengthy statement by the trust’s director, who confirmed Halko had not shown any of the symptoms she had declared to obtain benefits.
Sheriff Lorna Drummond deferred sentence for reports and told Halko: “That’s a lot of money – more than £40,000 – that you have defrauded from the DWP.”
The proceeds of crime action will be heard at the court at a later date.