22 Feb 2013

Jail for subletting council home

A fraudster who illegally sublet her council home pocketing thousands of pounds is behind bars. (h/t Dave)

Hildrith Bennett, aged 51, formerly of Bramley Hill, South Croydon, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of benefit fraud and one fraud offence.

Croydon Magistrates’ Court heard that since February 2007, she had been renting out the property for £600 a month while claiming housing and council tax benefits.

The total fraud amounted to around £50,000.

Croydon Council say this is the first time they have carried out an illegal subletting prosecution using the Fraud Act.

The money gained from the fraud is in the process of being recovered.

The council has since repossessed the property, as it continues its crackdown on illegal subletting.

Last month at Croydon County Court, Nicola Chin, aged 37, was ordered to give up her council home in Pawson’s Road, Broad Green, after she was found to have been illegally subletting it.

Councillor Dudley Mead, cabinet member for housing, said:
I hope that this sentence will send out a deterrent to those who think they can defraud the benefits and social housing system.

It is a council priority to ensure that hard-working honest taxpayers are not cheated by fraudsters such as this.

We will not hesitate to take offenders to court, where as this case shows, they could be sent to prison.

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