Deal or No Deal winner accused of benefit fraud


scales of justice

Caroline Banana, 40, who won £95,000 on Channel 4 game show, Deal or No Deal, has been accused of failing to tell the Department of Work and Pensions about her win, and continuing to claim £5,000 in benefits.

We don't know the truth in this particular case. However, we have discovered some stories from the archives of winners who turned into benefits sinners.

The case

Banana won the cash in November 2011. She would have had to tell the DWP about the win, and her benefits would have been stopped. The allegation, in the Daily Telegraph, is that she failed to do so, and continued to receive the cash.

According to The Sun newspaper, Banana will appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre on February 20.

There's nothing to say that Banana is guilty of anything; we will have to wait for the hearing to discover what actually happened.


In the interim, there are plenty of tales of people who seemed to have luck on their side, but who came unstuck with benefits.

Last August, 53-year-old John Anderson from Dundee was jailed after failing to come clean about a £100,000 scratchcard win, and continuing to claim £6,000 in benefits. He managed to squander the lot before he was jailed.

And he's not the only lottery winner to come a-cropper. In October we heard of Lawrence Candlish, aged 38, who won £5 million on the lottery, but after blowing the cash he turned to benefits fraud - claiming disability benefits and not revealing he had moved to Spain.

Another lottery-winning fraudster was Edward Putman, 46, who won £5 million on the lottery and continued to claim benefits without admitting to the windfall. He admitted to benefits fraud last July and was jailed for nine months.

That same month TV presenter Dan Penteado, who made a living showing fraudsters up on 'Rogue Traders', was found guilty of over £20,000 in benefit fraud, after he failed to disclose money in a bank account on official forms.

HMRC's biggest tax cheats of 2012

HMRC's biggest tax cheats of 2012

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