September 20 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
A Suffolk woman has pleaded guilty to benefit fraud of more than £6,000.
Lauren Revett, 26, of Girton Close, Woodbridge, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Miss Revett’s case was brought to Magistrates’ after a joint investigation between Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.
She pleaded guilty to two counts – one of dishonestly making a false statement to the Department for Work and Pensions in order to obtain Income Support and one of dishonestly making a false statement to Suffolk Coastal District Council in order to obtain housing and council tax benefit.
Both charges relate to her stating that she was single, when she in fact had her partner living with her, and both are offences under section 111A(1)(a) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.
The total overpayment was £6,075.34. Miss Revett was given a two year conditional discharge and will also have to repay all the money she was overpaid.
Siobhan Martin, head of audit at Suffolk Coastal, said: “Suffolk Coastal has a zero tolerance approach towards fraud and corruption of any kind. We will prosecute offenders.
“This offender now has a criminal record and will have to pay back all the money she fraudulently claimed.
“This demonstrates the consequences of being dishonest when you are claiming benefits. The benefits system is in place to support people with genuine needs. I would appeal for people to be honest when submitting claims.
“The message is simple, if you are not honest, you will be found out and prosecuted.”
Doreen Savage, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing said: “This outcome once again demonstrates the hard work, determination and commitment of the corporate counter fraud team.
“If you are a benefit cheat, we will find out and you will be prosecuted.”
Suffolk Coastal offer a 24-hour fraud hotline for people to call confidentially and report suspected benefit frauds. Call 01394 444444 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org