23 Jan 2015

Judge punishes housing benefit fraud

A benefit fraudster who claimed thousands she was not entitled to has been order to repay all her ill-gotten gains.

Elisabete Bacanhim, 38, formerly of Chalford Close, West Molesey, pleaded guilty to two benefit fraud offences against the council.

Bacanhim had left the house she was claiming benefits for and not told Elmbridge Council, so continued to get £2,569 of housing benefit she was not entitled to.

At Guildford Crown Court the Judge ordered she should complete 100 hours of unpaid work, repay all overpayments and make a contribution of £600 toward costs, to be paid off at £20 a week.

Councillor James Browne, cabinet member for housing, said:
While the overwhelming majority of our benefit claimants are honest I hope this serves as another reminder of the importance of promptly notifying the council of a change in circumstances. Keeping housing benefit in this way amounts to theft and the council will not hesitate to prosecute those who act dishonestly.

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