Two Aylesbury benefit fraudsters prosecuted
Archived press release
Date Published: 02/09/11
Two Aylesbury residents, who together received more than £38,000 in benefits to which they were not entitled, have been sentenced by magistrates.
Victoria Morrish, 27, of Ember Path, pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to give a prompt notification of a change in circumstances to Aylesbury Vale District Council and the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP).
Miss Morrish had claimed that her partner, Mark Trice, was her landlord when in fact he was the father of her children and they were married and living together as a couple.
As a result of her actions Miss Morrish falsely claimed housing and council tax benefit amounting to £16,796 and income support totalling £9,882 between 2006 and 2009.
She received an 18 week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and was also ordered to undertake 200 hours unpaid work in the community and pay costs of £500.
In a second case Charlotte Atley, 28, of Keats Close, was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work after failing to declare she lived with her partner. As a result Ms Atley was overpaid £6,206 in income support and £5,381 in housing and council tax benefit between 2008 and 2010.
Both women will be required to pay back the money they falsely claimed. The frauds came to light as a result of investigations undertaken by the DWP and AVDC.
Councillor Neil Blake, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “AVDC takes benefit fraud extremely seriously. Making false benefit claims is effectively stealing money from taxpayers. AVDC will always prosecute anyone who tries to take advantage of a system that is designed to help those who are most in need. It’s important that people contact the council when their circumstances change as this could affect the benefits they are receiving. In some cases people could be entitled to more benefit.”
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.