April 25 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
A benefits cheat who illegally claimed more than £2,400 from Brentwood Council was sentenced to 100 hours of community service last week.
Debra Allix, 50, of Hornbeam Close, Brentwood, was prosecuted after failing to inform the council of an increase in her income and a second job she had as a cleaner.
At her sentencing on January 17, she was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Allix was overpaid £2,336.71 in housing benefit between October 8 2010 and November 25 2012 and also £95.59 in council tax benefit from November 1 2010 to August 28 2011.
She must reimburse the council for this.
Cllr Chris Hossack, its spokesman for audit and value for money, said: “Fraudulent claims take away taxpayers’ money that could be spent for the benefit of the whole community.
“We have a zero-tolerance approach to any kind of benefit and council tax fraud and we can’t let people get away with cheating the system that is there to help people who really need it.
“We will press for a prosecution in every instance and when the fraudsters get caught they will realise it wasn’t worth it in the end.”
Benefit fraud can be reported anonymously by calling the council’s confidential fraud hotline on 0800 028 1492 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.