Black Lace singer Dene Michael to be sentenced for benefit fraud

Black Lace frontman Dene Michael will be sentenced later this month for claiming more than £25,000 in disability benefits and other allowances while performing as a singer.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 13th June 2016, 4:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:44 pm
Dene Michael from Black Lace.
Dene Michael from Black Lace.

The entertainer appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday (June 13) under his real name - Dene Michael Betteridge - alongside his wife, Karen.

The couple were due to be sentenced for benefit fraud, but the case could not be heard and was adjourned until June 27.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said Betteridge and his wife admitted benefit fraud offences at a previous hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

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Dene Michael from Black Lace.

Betteridge claimed he was unable to work and had to use walking sticks or an electric scooter.

But investigators found that while he claimed he could not leave the house without assistance and could only walk a few feet, he was performing both as a solo singer and as part of the band.

Betteridge claimed £11,579.66 in Disability Living Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance and £13,667 in Council Tax and Housing Benefit, the DWP said.

Black Lace are best known for their hit song Agadoo and other party standards like Superman and Do The Conga.

Dene Michael from Black Lace.

Betteridge was not part of the original line-up, but joined in 1986.

In 2015 he appeared on the BBC TV talent show The Voice and has also appeared the ITV legal show, Judge Rinder.