5 Jun 2013

Benefit thief told to repay at £400 a month

A woman who claimed she lived alone in order to illegally pocket more than £22,000 in housing and council tax benefit has been ordered to repay the money she fraudulently claimed. (h/t Dave)

Deborah Reynolds, from Barnet, was handed an eight-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to committing the fraud.

The 45-year-old mother of two was ordered to repay the money at a rate of £400 per month.

Hurrah. We want to see more orders like this.

An investigation was launched after a housing association alerted the council’s Corporate Anti-Fraud Team to the possible fraud.

Investigators quickly established that Reynolds had been claiming benefits for five years but at no point had she declared that she was living with her partner who was working.

It was revealed that the crook had deliberately altered a copy of her tenancy agreement to conceal the fact that she did not live alone when submitting it along with her benefits applications. Over the years Reynolds had completed six claim applications but at no point declared her true circumstances.

During interview she denied having done anything wrong.

An interview with her partner revealed that he was unaware of the scam. During the period of the fraud, Reynolds’ partner paid the rent in full for their property unaware that she was pocketing money being claimed illegally.
  • Benefit thieves do it for the money. They should know they will have to pay back twice what they stole. They should not be eligible for any benefits until they have, and they should have to do some unpaid work every week until the debt to society is cleared.

    That would be a deterrent.

    Hit them in the pocket!

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