Friday, April 4, 2014

Lotto Winner Admits Benefits Fraud

A year ago Joseph McKay and his darts partner Henry Milne were photographed drinking champagne and celebrating their £1.2 million UK National Lottery win. At the time McKay said he was an out of work builder, but it has recently emerged he was also a benefits cheat.

The darts buddies' lucky numbers hit the bull's eye in the Saturday, March 23, 2013, draw and when they claimed their prize two days later McKay stated the timing couldn't be any better because the recession had put him out of work.

"I have worked in the building trade my whole life and it's only recently that I have found myself unemployed because there's just nothing out there at the moment," McKay said. "But now I feel as though I can relax a little knowing that I have some money tucked away to see me and my partner through."

Times were not as hard as McKay made out. He already had a nice little nest egg of £40,000 sitting in the bank, but had failed to declare it to Department for Work and Pensions, was claiming benefits he was not entitled to, and continued to do so for a further three months after his big win.

The benefits scrounging builder has now appeared before Sheriff Tom Ward at Greenock Sheriff Court in Greenock, Scotland, and admitted committing benefit fraud between February 7, 2009 and June 23, 2013.

Sheriff Ward imposed a fine of £1,000 and told McKay: "Defrauding the state is a serious matter. I take into account you've paid all the money back."