Wingrave woman sentenced after £13,000 benefit fraud
Archived press release
Date Published: 23/06/11
A Wingrave woman has got to pay back over £13,000 in benefits she dishonestly claimed.
Together with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Aylesbury Vale District Council undertook a joint investigation which saw Nicola Watson (36), of Nan Aires, successfully prosecuted for falsely claiming housing benefit and income support.
Miss Watson failed to notify both authorities that she was living with her partner, John White. She had claimed that Mr White was her landlord when in fact he was her partner and the father of her child.
From July 2009 to October 2010 the defendant was overpaid £9,839.70 in housing benefit and £3,722.54 in income support. The total overpayment was £13,562.24.
Together with having to pay the overpaid benefits back, Miss Watson was given a community order for 12 months during which she has to undertake 160 hours unpaid work and was also ordered to pay costs of £100. She was prosecuted under Section 112(1A) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.
Councillor Neil Blake, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “The sentence passed reflects the seriousness of the offences committed. AVDC will continue to do everything possible to ensure that benefit is paid only to those who are entitled. I would encourage anyone currently claiming housing and council tax benefit or considering making a claim to be sure that they provide true and correct information and to report any changes in circumstances immediately.”
To report anyone you suspect of committing benefit fraud anonymously, contact the benefit fraud team on 01296 585570, or use the online form on the website www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk