18 Jan 2018

Polish benefit fraudster took £91,000

A benefits fraudster who cheated the taxpayer out of more than £100,000 has been spared jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard how mother-of-three Agnieszka Pryzbylska fraudulently claimed £91,411 in tax credits from HMRC between April 2011 and August 2016, and £14,722 in housing and council tax benefit from Hyndburn Borough Council between July 2012 and February 2016.

Pryzbylska, who is originally from Eastern Europe, is re-paying the council at a rate of£60-per-month but Judge Beverley Lunt said if that continues it will take her 170 years to settle her debt.

Prosecuting, Julian Goode said Pryzbylska claimed housing benefits on the basis she was a single mother but investigations found she was living with the father of two of her children. Having initially claimed he was gay, Pryzbylska, from Accrington, said the man was going to her house in the early morning to feed her fish.

Mr Goode said Pryzbylska started claiming tax credits legitimately in 2008 as she was on a low income. But the housing benefit and council tax claim was fraudulent from the outset.

Mr Goode said the housing benefits were claimed on the basis that Pryzbylska lived as a single parent. But investigators found she was living with the father of two of her children and he had given her address as the place he was residing to his employers.

Pryzbylska and her husband were also registered as next of kin contact for their two children.The man’s application for a driving licence and TV licence also showed him living at the same address as Pryzbylska. Surveillance showed his vehicle parked outside Pryzbylska’s house late at night and in the early morning.

Mr Goode said: “She was interviewed twice in February and July 2016. She suggested the man was gay and they were not a couple. She did admit he was the father of her two children. In the second interview she provided a tenancy agreement which claimed to show he lived with his brother and not with her. She said he would come round to her address early in the morning to feed her fish.”

Pryzbylska, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of benefit fraud. Philip Holden, defending, said Pryzbylska is working full-time, earns around £1,200 a month and is of previous good character.

Sentencing Pryzbylska to 20 months imprisonment, but suspending it for 12 months, Judge Lunt told the defendant that she was extremely fortunate not to be going directly to prison.

Judge Lunt said: “This is a lot of money, over £105,000, which you obtained over a period of five years. That’s about £20,000 per year. It was not frittered on high living or gambling.

“Your position has changed. It’s changed for the better. You do still have other debts. You are now working full-time. You’re earning your own money to look after your children. You have not claimed benefits, although you could have claimed some form of benefits while you were waiting for this case to come back before me.

“Anyone who steals this amount of money from the DWP should understand the only possible option is prison. It will be a lengthy sentence in prison. The difference in your case is you’re now earning your own income. You’re paying tax and you’re paying some money back. For those reasons I am prepared to make an exception in your case and suspended the prison sentence.”


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is going on every single day. People from the EU come into my place of work and make up all sorts of stories about where they are from etc. They also move over to Britain, move into a really bad place to live and then come into the council and demand Social Housing. When they get it, they then move in loads of other people and then say they are living in over crowded conditions and they get a larger house. After 5 years they are allowed to buy their Social House, making an instant proof and depleting the Social Housing stock.They are even allowed to buy there Social House even if they have been in rent arrears while teants. They sign up to all the benefits and usually get them. Some off them are claiming more benefits then I get paid and they are for doing nothing for this money, because as I often hear from them "they are entitled to it".
The whole system is a complete joke. Its not just people from the EU that do this, it is people born in Britain that think they are "entitled" to live off the working.

The Data Protection Act allows this to happen, as we are not allowed to share information with other departments within the council or other councils.People often move areas and do the same thing again. If you are not going to commit a crime you would not mind your data been shared with other government services. Wake up government, any government. Put the GREAT back in Britain. If Departments could share information, people would not get away with so much fraud, thus reducing the costs of it.