Fraudster admits benefit fiddle

A FRAUDSTER who falsely claimed more than £10,000 in benefits has been sentenced to 180 hours community service.Nicola Pryke, of Towerfield Road, Rendlesham, pleaded guilty to four benefit fraud offences at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on August 4.

A FRAUDSTER who falsely claimed more than £10,000 in benefits has been sentenced to 180 hours community service.

Nicola Pryke, of Towerfield Road, Rendlesham, pleaded guilty to four benefit fraud offences at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court on August 4.

She admitted falsely obtaining more than £10,800 from Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The court heard how Mrs Pryke, nee Richardson, had failed to inform the council about a change in the circumstances that had made her eligible for benefit.


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She did not notify the council that a working partner, who she subsequently married, had moved into her house.

The offences came to light following a joint investigation by officers from the Council's counter-fraud unit and the Department for Work and Pension's counter-fraud investigation service.

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Cllr David Smith, Suffolk Coastal's cabinet member for finance and resources, said: "This council remains committed to helping its residents claim all the benefits to which they are rightly entitled but I must warn those who want to cheat the system that we will use the power of law when we catch them.

"More than ever, fraudsters should be aware that it is now a case of when we catch them rather than if.

"This is our fifth successful court prosecution since April, and there are more to come – fraudsters beware, we will catch you."

People receiving benefits should notify the council on 01394 444838 if there is a change in their circumstances.

Suffolk Coastal's confidential Benefit Fraud Hotline is 01394 444444. It can be called 24 hours a day or you can email fraud.investigation@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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