Housing benefit cheat must pay back double
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal
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A fraudster who cheated himself to over £4,000 in housing benefit has been ordered to pay back over £8,000.
Manolis Nikolantos, of Harrington Road, London, failed to notify the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea that he moved out of a property in December 2010. Despite no longer being resident, he continued to allow housing benefit to be paid into his bank account until July 2011.
The council only became aware that Nikolantos had moved after his benefit entitlement letters were returned to marked "gone away".
In court the crook claimed that, despite evidence to the contrary, he did notify the council of his change of address. In mitigation the offender's previous good character was asked to be taken into account.
Nikolantos was handed a 12-month community order with a requirement to do 180 hours unpaid work. He must pay compensation totalling £4087.26 to the council within six months, and was also ordered to pay a contribution to the prosecution costs of a further £4,000.