Benefit fraudster tagged after pocketing over £5,000
Date published: 23 May 2012
A tenant who failed to tell the council when she left a rented property and pocketed more than £5,000 in housing and council tax benefit has been given a three-month curfew order.
Following an investigation by Rochdale Borough Council fraud investigators, Julie Walker, 46, now residing at George Street, Heywood, pleaded guilty to benefit fraud by dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances.
Mrs Walker, who represented herself in court, claimed housing and council tax benefit for a property she previously rented on Lord Street, Heap Bridge. After she left the property, she failed to tell the authorities between 30 May 2010 and 3 April 2011 and kept £5,035 in benefits to which she knew she was not entitled.
Appearing at Bury and Rochdale Magistrates Court on 17 May 2012 in the case brought by Rochdale Borough Council’s Legal and Democratic Service team, Mrs Walker was handed the three-month curfew order to be in operation Wednesday to Sunday, which means she will have to wear a tag and cannot leave her home between 8pm and 7am on these days. She will also have to repay the £5,035 she defrauded from the council.
Councillor Farooq Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Finance at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This should serve as a warning to others who withhold information in order to dishonestly receive benefits to which they are not entitled. They can be sure we will continue to investigate and prosecute deliberate fraudsters.”
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