12 Nov 2015

Conditional discharge for benefit thief

On Tuesday 27 October at Redhill Magistrates’ Court, Sharon Adams pleaded guilty to failing to tell the Council of her change in circumstances, which led to an overpayment of housing benefit of £6,434 and of council tax support of £1,222. (h/t Dave)

Mrs Adams was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £220 and £15 to the victim support fund.

Mrs Adams received the overpayment between December 2013 and October 2014, after she failed to tell the Council about her employment. She notified the Benefits team about an increase in working hours, but there is no evidence she had told the Council she had started a job.

Following an interview under caution, Mrs Adams admitted this and also that her partner had started employment, which she had also failed to declare. The Council’s investigation officer believed there was enough evidence to bring a prosecution.

Councillor Martin Fisher, Chairman of the Resources Committee, said: “Whatever Mrs Adams personal reasons for not telling us of her change in circumstances, this is a serious offence and theft of public money. In cases like this we have no choice, but to prosecute.”

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