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Brentwood benefits cheat must return taxpayers money

O'Callaghan must return the money. O'Callaghan must return the money.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
5:22 PM

A Brentwood woman has been prosecuted for illegally claiming benefits from the public purse.

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Karman O’Callaghan, 33, was overpaid more than £5,000 in housing benefit after she failed to notify Brentwood Borough Council about her changes of circumstances as she moved from her Rollason Way home.

O’Callaghan, who also goes by the surname of Fagg, was sentenced at Basildon Magistrates’ Court last week.

She failed to attend court in December despite the matter being adjourned twice before. She was therefore found guilty in her absence.

A warrant for her arrest was issued so she could be brought to court for sentencing. She must pay back the overpaid money in full.

She must also and do 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £600 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Brentwood council’s value for money spokesman, Cllr Chris Hossack, said: “Please don’t cheat the benefits system. It’s unfair to both the hardworking taxpayers who fund the system and of course the people who genuinely need the benefits system to work for them in their time of need.

“It’s also illegal.”

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