Woman in £3,000 benefit fraud

By Connie Osborne Wednesday 16 January 2013 Updated: 16/01 16:41

A WOMAN has been ordered to pay compensation after falsely claiming more than £3,000 in benefits.

Julie Preston, of Forest View in Crabbs Cross, pleaded guilty at Redditch Magistrates' Court to falsely claiming £3,180.92 worth of employment and support allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit between September 2011 and February 2012.

The 47-year-old, who failed to declare she was in full time work, was given an 18 month conditional discharge and ordered to repay the remaining money she owed to Redditch Borough Council, plus £100 for prosecution costs.

Magistrates took into account her early guilty plea and the fact it was her first offence.

The investigation into Preston's fraudulent claims began after the council received information she was working.

Enquiries were made and the Department for Work and Pensions also joined the investigation to uncover the full extent of her offence.

A spokeswoman for Redditch Borough Council said the case demonstrated the importance of declaring true circumstances when claiming benefit and reporting any changes as they took place.

"Failure to do so will result in having to repay any benefit claimed incorrectly, may also lead to a criminal record and could have an impact on future claims. "

To report a suspicion of benefit fraud e-mail as much detail as possible to benefitsfraud@redditchbc.gov.uk or call 01527 534011.

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