Sophe Stefferson, a bingo caller, was sentenced to 8 months in prison for falsely claiming disability benefits. Stefferson said she suffered from asthma and could not work so she received over £60,600 in disability for the past 8 years while working at her job at a local bingo hall.
Bingo Caller Imprisoned
Sophe Stefferson, an Ebbw Vale bingo caller, has been sentenced to 8 months in prison after receiving over £60,600 in falsely claimed disability and income assistance. Stefferson said that she suffered from asthma and could not walk outside and needed a part-time in-home nurse. From July 18th, 2001 to August 25th, 2009, she has claimed almost £18,000 in disability allowance. In September of 2001, Stefferson wrote on a disability and income claim form that her asthma was so severe that she could barely get out of bed and needed assistance with housework. However, she had been working as a bingo caller at a local bingo hall since February of 2001. The prosecutor, Nuhu Gobir, said Stefferson was not only a regular bingo caller, but she also went to the grocery store, cleaned the bar and made sandwiches at the bingo hall.
Additional Evidence Against Stefferson
In addition, Stefferson has also received almost £700 in income assistance from February 2nd, 2005 to August 7th, 2009, almost £25,000 in incapacity assistance from April 6th, 2003 to July 28th, 2009, almost £4,000 in tax benefits from April 1st, 2003 to August 16th 2009 and almost £13,500 in housing assistance from April 7th, 2003 and August 16th, 2009. In 2009, Stefferson confessed to her false disability claims and says she wanted to alert the authorities but did not have the courage to do so. Stefferson’s defense attorney, Lawrence Jones, says Stefferson does suffer from asthma and emphysema and did not use the money to live a lavish lifestyle but rather to support herself due to her long-term financial struggles. The judge in Stefferson’s trial sentenced her to 8 months in prison and said he did not believe that she felt remorse as she could have told the authorities of her crimes during the past 8 years but chose not to until she was caught.