Emsworth woman pleads guilty to benefit fraud
A benefits cheat has been ordered to undertake community work after falsely claiming over £30,000 in benefits.
Deborah Rose, 40, of Thistledowne Gardens, Emsworth, had claimed Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support amounting to £30,299.41 between April 2007 and May 2011. However, she failed to declare that she had a working partner living with her, who she had married in 2009.
Mrs Rose pleaded guilty to four charges of dishonestly failing to notify Chichester District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances.
Magistrates at Worthing sentenced her to 50 hours community work for each charge, to run concurrently.
Councillor Josef Ransley, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Communications at Chichester District Council, says: "If you are in receipt of benefit payments and your circumstances change then please let us know as soon as possible. Our officers can then check whether this affects your benefit. It can be easy to remember to do this if your circumstances change for the worse, but you must also tell us if they change for the better.
"The benefits system is there to help those most in need, not those who want to abuse it by claiming money they are not entitled to. Benefit fraud is a very serious crime and we will continue to prosecute those people guilty of it."
Both Chichester District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions will seek to recover all overpaid benefit.
If you suspect anyone of committing benefit fraud you can contact the council's investigation team on a confidential 24 hour fraud hotline number - 01243 534590. Or you can report it online.
Date: 11 July 2012