25 Sep 2013

Wicked Kelly-Louise Goatley in tenancy fraud

Social housing fraud is the most immoral type of welfare fraud. It's not just the money. It also deprives needy people of suitable accommodation.

A benefits cheat made £24,000 by illegally sub-letting the council flat she had been given after she became pregnant aged 18. (h/t Dave)

Kelly-Louise Goatley, who earns £29,000 a year as a secretary at City bank Mizuho International, took trips to Borneo, Australia, Spain and Corfu while she sub-let the property near London’s Hyde Park for more than £1,400 a month.

Meanwhile, she paid Westminster Council as little as £94.72 per week in rent and was working full time. She claimed housing benefit for the flat, even though she was staying with either her boyfriend or her mother.

Last week, having previously been found guilty of fraud, Goatley narrowly escaped a prison term by paying back £10,000 – less than half her illicit profits. If she had failed to pay up, the council had planned to take her back to Southwark Crown Court, where she was previously given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Goatley was given the one-bedroom flat, meant for the vulnerable, when she became pregnant in 2000, and said she had been thrown out by her family.

She lost the baby but continued to live in the apartment in Gloucester Terrace, Paddington.

She let it for £1,200 a month between September 2006 and April 2008. A couple from Spain then moved in during 2010 and lived there until February 2011, paying £1,408 monthly.

Goatley used a lettings agent and signed a declaration that she was the flat’s owner. But she insisted her tenants not contact the council, telling them she would take care of council tax.

She also requested that no ‘to let’ signs be placed outside.

When a whistleblower reported her to the council’s fraud hotline, an investigator found the Spanish couple at the flat, who produced a tenancy agreement.

Goatley managed to escape paying the full £24,000 she racked up because she no longer had the money.

She had first claimed she was penniless, but fraud investigators uncovered a bank account containing almost £11,000.

Westminster Council has now repossessed the flat.

Goatley refused to comment.

She could pay the money from her earnings if the council woke up.

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