Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, October 11, 2012

English Woman Cleared of Fraud Charges

CatsMarlene Howes, a woman from Gloucester, was found not guilty of benefits fraud. She was accused of committing fraud for concealing an inheritance that she received from her mother. She cleared of all charges when it was discovered that she only used her inheritance to take of her mother's cats. Her mother, Barbara Sutton, specifically left the inheritance to Howes so that her cats "could have 'the best of everything.'" The Magistrate Judge stated that she was free to go because she was only carrying out the wishes of her mother. 

Upon her mother's death, Ms. Howes sold her mother's house and brought her cats to live with her. She took the funds from the sale of her mother's house and placed them in an account for her cats. Howes also stated that she was unaware that she needed to inform the Department of Work and Pensions. 

See Telegraph Reporters, Woman Who Spent £50,000 on Cats Cleared of Benefits Fraud, The Telegraph, Oct. 9, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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