Council issues benefits claim warning after three women appear in court

PUBLISHED: 10:45 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:24 26 February 2014

ECDC

ECDC

Archant

East Cambridgeshire District Council is warning residents to ensure they claim only the benefits they are entitled to after three court cases in recent days.

In the first, Tina Bissett, 47, from Littleport, pleaded guilty to falsely claiming £39,524 in income support and £17,972 in council tax and housing benefits.

The charges were brought by Anglia Revenues Partnership on behalf of the council and the Department of Work and Pensions.

She was handed 12 months in prison for each charge, to run concurrently and be suspended for two years.

In the second, Nina Read, 26, from Ely, pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to notify the district council and the Department of Work and Pensions of a change in her circumstances.

This lead to her claiming a total of £8,301.47 in housing and council benefit and income support which she was not entitled to.

Miss Read was given a 12-month conditional discharge in additional to a £15 victim surcharge and told to pay costs of £550.

And finally, Brenda Maul, 65, from Littleport, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the council of changes in her circumstances which meant she claimed more than £2,000 worth of council tax benefit she wasn’t entitled to between May 2009 and July 2013.

Mrs Maul was fined £766 and told to pay a £15 victim surcharge and costs of £550.

Linda Grinnell, head of finance at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime – it is the taxpayer who has to pay for those who try to cheat the system. We hope these judgements act as a real deterrent to anyone who thinks they can get away with claiming money they are not entitled to. We would also remind people to let us know about changes in their circumstances as soon as their situation changes so they don’t get into difficulties.

“There is a team of officers who work to track down anyone who is trying to defraud you and the District Council. Often it is intelligence led investigations which are the most successful and lead to the conviction of people who are breaking the law. I would encourage anyone who has information that someone is claiming benefits illegally to please let us know - you will be helping the Council and your Council Tax bill in the process. ”

More news stories

The county council says it will make the Traffic Commissioners aware of a major investigation being undertaken into the Fenland Association of Community Transport (FACT) when they decide on whether to allow them operator licences to run commercial services through new limited companies.

Four people were taken to hospital following a two car collision on a notorious stretch of the A1101 through Fenland.

18:26

‘Houston we have a problem’ admitted county councillor Bill Hunt, vice chairman of the county council highways and community infrastructure, when he offered a public apology today for the number of potholes across Cambridgeshire.

These fantastic images show a B-52 Stratofortress being refuelled over the North Sea by a KC-135 tanker from RAF Mildenhall.

Most read stories

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter