Camp­bel­town tax credit fraud woman tagged

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS -

A fraud­ster was told to stay at home from 9pm to 5am when a re­stric­tion of lib­erty or­der was im­posed at Camp­bel­town Sher­iff Court. Nearly two months ago, Joan McCal­lum, 47, of 19A Cal­ton Av­enue, Camp­bel­town pleaded guilty to ob­tain­ing pay­ments of tax cred­its to the value of £29,000 by fail­ing to re­port a ma­te­rial fact, namely that she was liv­ing with her hus­band Niall McCal­lum. In ad­di­tion a hear­ing was set, for Jan­uary 11 next year, to de­ter­mine whether a con­fis­ca­tion or­der should be made on McCal­lum’s prop­erty un­der proceeds of crime leg­is­la­tion. In mit­i­ga­tion last Thurs­day, McCal­lum’s de­fence agent Chris­tian Kane said she ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity and that she posed lit­tle risk of re-of­fend­ing. He em­pha­sised that al­though £29,000 seemed a lot of money most was used for child care and not ex­trav­a­gances. In Au­gust the court was told that be­tween April 6 2011 and July 29 2016 McCal­lum had ob­tained the child tax cred­its while her hus­band was in full time em­ploy­ment as a lorry driver. At that hear­ing, procu­ra­tor fis­cal de­pute Eoin McGinty ex­plained that work­ing tax cred­its are a means tested ben­e­fit and that on Oc­to­ber 27 2015 HMRC re­ceived an anony­mous call. The caller said McCal­lum was liv­ing with her part­ner be­tween the spec­i­fied dates and had been re­ceiv­ing pay­ments. The court was told de­tails about where McCal­lum’s hus­band had worked and the na­ture of the em­ploy­ment. Mr McGinty said: ‘McCal­lum was in­ter­viewed by HMRC of­fi­cers and demon­strated con­sid­er­able un­der­stand­ing of the ben­e­fits sys­tem.’ Sum­ming up, Sher­iff Pa­trick Hughes said that but for McCal­lum’s re­morse she could have faced at least 12 months in prison.

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