By Connie Osborne 10/08 Updated: 10/08 09:56
BENEFIT fraudsters pleaded guilty to offences totally nearly £14,000 in two separate cases.
Stephen Stockton of Winforton Close admitted falsely claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit worth £5,631.45 by failing to declare he was working as a fork lift driver between October 2009 and March 2011.
The 37-year-old was given a 12 month community order which will see him complete 125 hours at the Care Farm Skills Project, as well as paying back the full amount.
Redditch Magistrates told Stockton they had been considering custody but had taken into account his early guilty plea, history and mitigation.
In a separate case, magistrates heard how Jade Wakeman of Four Oaks Close fraudulently claimed £8752.09 of Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit by failing to declare she had lived with her partner since December 2010.
Wakeman was given a two year conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the court. The remaining balance will be recovered by the Department of Work and Pensions and Redditch Borough Council.
Magistrates told the 23-year-old they acknowledged her early guilty plea, but the offences had gone on for a considerable amount of time.
Redditch Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions worked together to uncover the full extent of the offences.
A spokesperson for Redditch Borough Council said: “Benefit fraud is a serious matter which can result in a criminal record in addition to having to repay all the money.”
To report anyone suspected of committing benefit fraud e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the investigation team on 01527 534011.
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