THREE women who separately claimed over £25,000 in benefits they were not entitled to have been successfully prosecuted by Bolsover District Council.
Julie Ann West, 30, a former resident of North Road, Clowne, and who now lives at Middle Hay Place, Sheffield, failed to advise the council’s benefits section that she had vacated her Clowne address in January 2012.
West continued to claim housing benefit from Bolsover District Council up until June 2012 when investigators became aware she had moved address.
The investigation discovered that West had also been claiming housing benefit from Sheffield City Council since moving address.
She received housing benefit of over £2,500 between January and June 2012 to which she was not entitled. West pleaded guilty at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court after an arrest warrant was executed after she failed to attend an earlier court date.
She was convicted under Section 112 (1A) of the Social Security Administration Act (SSAA) 1992 and was fined £110 with a victim surcharge of £15 and ordered to pay costs of £100 at £20 per week in addition to having to repay the £2,500 she wrongly claimed.
The second person Natalia Moses, 33, of Mary Street, Langwith appeared at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to claiming over £17,000 in housing and council tax benefits and income support as a lone parent between April 2009 and November 2010 whilst failing to declare she was living with a partner.
Moses was sentenced under Section 112(1A) of The Social Security Administration Act 1992 and received a four week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with a supervision order over this period. She was also given a curfew for 8 weeks between 7pm to 7am, and is to be electronically monitored and will also have to pay the benefits she was overpaid.
The third, Tina Gregg, 25, of Lancaster Street, Bramley Vale, appeared at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to failing to declare living with a partner whilst she received over £5,900 in housing and council tax benefits and income support as a lone parent between March and December 2011.
Gregg was sentenced under Section 112(1A) of The Social Security Administration Act 1992 and given a one year community order including 80 hours unpaid work and must attend a five day education program. She was also ordered to pay costs of £100 and has to repay the amounts she was not entitled to.
Bolsover District Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr Duncan McGregor said, “It really does baffle me as to why people think they can get away with taking money that is simply not theirs. These cases show that no matter how people try to avoid being made to account for their actions, we will still pursue and take appropriate action against anyone committing benefit fraud.”
Two of the three cases were as a result of joint investigations between Bolsover District Council and The Department for Work and Pensions. If you know of anyone who you suspect is committing benefit fraud, then please contact the Council, on 01246 242444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org