Housing Benefit Fraud - Woman Jailed
A woman in Peterborough, appeared before Peterborough Crown Court recently and was jailed for eight months, after she pleaded guilty to charges of failing to declare her correct circumstances at an earlier hearing with the benefits investigation team.
She had fraudulently claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit on the basis she received income support as a lone parent when in fact she was living with her partner !
A tip-off from an an anonymous person alledged that she had failed to declare that her partner was living with her and that he was in paid employment. A subsequent investigation revealed that her partner had been living at the property with her for more than four years. As a result of her failure to notify the City Council of a change in her circumstances, she was overpaid more than £15,000 in housing benefit; almost £3,000 in council tax benefit; and almost £27,000 in income support !
As well as being sent to prison for eight months she will also have to pay back the money she claimed fraudulently.
The Council’s head of governance welcomed the sentence. She said: “The sentence passed in this case is a reflection of the seriousness of the crime this woman committed....She has not only defrauded the authorities, but she has also defrauded every taxpaying resident of this city. We urge anyone who believes that someone is committing an offence to contact us as soon as possible.”
Councils across the country have a free phone number where concerned people can report suspected benefit fraudsters. Contact your local council for their number,