Benefits swindler spared jail
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal, Local Government
A benefits fraudster has been spared jail after an investigation revealed she had swindled £24,000 in welfare payments.
Nikki Evans of Tudor Road, Hayes pleaded guilty to three charges of benefit fraud when the case was heard at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court last month.
The crook claimed housing and council tax benefit and income support as a single person for three years and five months, even though she was living with her employed partner during the period.
An investigation by Hillingdon Council and the Department for Work and Pensions found that her fraudulent claims resulted in total overpayments of £14,020.73 in housing benefit, £2,577.37 in council tax benefit and £7,432.36 in income support.
She has now been handed a 12-week sentence, suspended for 24 months.
Garry Coote, the council's corporate fraud manager, said: “This council takes a tough stance on benefit cheats and is pleased when they are caught and successfully prosecuted in court – after all it’s your money they are stealing."