Benefit cheat pleads guilty to falsely claiming £6,500 of support
- Credit: Archant
A BENEFIT cheat has pleaded guilty to claiming £6,500 in housing and council tax support.
Lindsey Broadhead, 35, of Windmill Close, Bassingbourn, admitted one charge of failing to report a change in circumstances and two charges of making a false statement to obtain benefit when she appeared at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
She was sentenced to carry out 40 hours unpaid work.
When she started work in June 2009, Miss Broadhead failed to report the change to South Cambridgeshire District Council and when filling in a benefits forms she did not include details of her work.
It was found that she had been overpaid a total of £6,498.58 in housing and council tax benefits which are now being recovered.
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Cllr Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “We’re committed to preventing and detecting fraud and have a very good record for taking action when it is necessary.
“We rely on the public reporting their suspicions but also have a number of methods to catch people who try to take money out of the system which should be there for the people who really need it.”
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The prosecution was brought by the district council after an investigation by the National Fraud Initiative, which looks at benefit data to identify potential irregularities.
Christopher Freeman, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Fraud Manager, said: “It’s vital that changes are reported promptly to ensure that benefit claims remain correct. Failure to do so can result in a large bill for the overpaid benefit and even prosecution.
“Data matching is a useful tool in finding fraud and error but claimants need to make sure they take responsibility and keep us up to date when any change takes place.”
Suspected fraud can be reported through the Council’s hotline on 0800 7311892 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.