24 Jan 2014

Benefit fraud couple get confiscation orders

A couple who ran an ironing business from their Selby home have received court Confiscations Orders in relation to convictions in 2012 for benefit fraud.

Mariola and Janusz Kostrzewa were handed the Confiscations Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act in a hearing at York Crown Court on Thursday, January 16th.

The orders require Mariola to pay £166,831.54 and Janusz to pay £62,826.36. If found in default of the orders the couple could face imprisonment of up to 27 and 18 months respectively.

The original offences related to making false statements in order to fraudulently obtain benefits from Selby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions. The crimes for which they were convicted date back as far as 2003.

An investigation was started after the couple were reported to the Department for Work and Pensions as living a ‘lifestyles not conducive to persons claiming benefits’.

Evidence was then obtained that showed that the couple were running The Iron Lady, a professional ironing service, from which they were taking an undeclared income.

Between May 2003 and March 2010, the Kostrzewas received Council Tax Benefit to the value of £9,364.45 and Income Support and Jobseeker Allowance totalling £62,933.88 that they were not entitled to.

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