Virgin Atlantic air stewardess ripped off taxpayer and blew £10,000 on boob job
A woman who ripped off the taxpayer for £10,000 while splurging on a boob job and a Peloton exercise bike has been ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
Former Virgin Atlantic air stewardess Mercedes Bradley, 31, claimed Universal Credit benefits despite having £48,000 in a secret bank account where she was receiving substantial payments from men she claimed were 'ex-boyfriends'.
Bradley, from Gloucestershire, admitted to failing to declare the funds after Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investigators caught up with her and her lavish spending spree.
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According to the DWP, Bradley used the stolen taxpayer cash live off while spending tens of thousands of pounds on cosmetic surgery including a breast lift and dental work.
The DWP's Financial Investigation Unit team questioned Bradley after receiving an anonymous tip off.
She claimed the payments were from ex-boyfriends, who transferred her £47,780.
Bradley also paid for a personal trainer and £4,000 Peloton exercise bike complete with a monthly subscription.
According to DWP rules, people cannot claim benefits if they have savings higher than £16,000.
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Karl Williams, representing Bradley, said: "When she separated from her partner she made a legitimate claim for benefits. She moved from Swindon to where her family were living in the Cinderford area."
"This had a significant effect on her mental health. Fortunately, two of her previous partners were able to help her out financially and gave her in the region of £50,000. This is what affected her benefit entitlement."
Judge Don Tait said: "It's a sad day when a woman, who has not been in trouble before, finds herself at Gloucester Crown Court. It's your own fault of course, but you must understand that benefits are paid out of taxpayers' money."
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