British Woman On Holiday In Goa, Claimed Medical Benefits Worth £134,000; Jailed


Karen Trant was sentenced for 27 months by the Plymouth Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming benefits over a 13-year period.

LONDON – Britain has sent a woman to prison for over two years for claiming medical benefits worth a whopping £134,000 only to holiday in Goa and get cosmetic surgeries done in India.

Fifty-two-year-old Karen Trant of Dartmouth was sentenced for 27 months by the Plymouth Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming benefits over a 13-year period.
Between August 1999 and April 2013, Karen Trant falsely claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit, employment support allowance, income support and disability allowance.

Despite claims that she needed continual supervision, could not walk outdoors in unfamiliar routes without guidance or supervision and being stressed by crowded places, she holidayed in Goa, India, paid for cosmetic surgery and enjoyed horse-riding and socialising in crowds.

The Crown Prosecution Service said on Friday that after several holidays to this idyllic part of India, Trant bought an apartment at the Highland Beach Resort in Candolim in 2004, which extended her stays by up to five months.

Back in the UK, her false benefits claims continued.

The court heard that in total, Karen Trant falsely claimed £32,315.94 in Income Support, £8,134.15 in Employment Support Allowance, £29,807.40 in Disability Living Allowance and £64,478.51 in Housing & Council Tax Benefit.

Claire Busby, a lawyer with the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, said “Karen Trant failed to notify authorities of cash from her divorce settlement in 1999, that she frequently holidayed in Goa and that, in 2004, she had bought an apartment there. Had she done so, she would not have been entitled to the benefits she claimed”.

“The Karen Trant seen confidently riding a horse in the photographs seems a world away from the highly-dependent and anxiety-ridden individual she purported to be to justify her welfare benefits claims. This facade was completely undermined by her extravagant lifestyle, involving repeated lengthy trips to Goa and cosmetic surgery”.

“The benefits system exists to support the most vulnerable in our society and Karen Trant had no entitlement to these benefits. She tried to conceal her wrongdoing, but was brought before the criminal courts and convicted by the jury.”

Karen Trant pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonest representation for obtaining benefit, contrary to section 111A(1)(A) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. — IANS

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