Maghera man could face jail over benefit fraud

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A MAGHERA man who has pleaded guilty to housing benefit fraud to the value of more than £13,000, could face a 12-month prison sentence.

The Social Security Agency Financial Investigation Unit obtained a Confiscation Order to the value of £13,604 against Kevin McAlary (44) of Kirley Road, Maghera at Dungannon Crown Court today.

On the 4 October 2011, the defendant pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming Housing Benefit, and on 20 January 2012 was sentenced to a nine month prison sentence suspended for two years.

At today’s confiscation hearing, the Court agreed that the loss to the Department through the defendant’s criminal activity amounted to £13,604 and granted a Confiscation Order in this amount.

The Confiscation Order is to be satisfied by 27 March 2014. If the Confiscation Order is not satisfied by this date, the defendant will have to serve a 12 month prison sentence.