London Borough of Enfield

London Borough of Enfield London Borough of Enfield logo

A to Z of services

Fraudster O’Garro not on straight and narrow

Published Friday, 10 October 2014

A fraudster who received £7,751.04 in benefits she was not entitled to was brought to book last week thanks to investigative work by Enfield Council.

Natalie O’Garro, 42, of Cuckoo Hall Lane, Edmonton, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to promptly notify Enfield Council of changes in her circumstances at Tottenham Magistrates Court on 2 October.

She was fined £265, ordered to pay costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £260. Enfield Council will also work to recoup the money she fraudulently claimed.

O’Garro initially claimed Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from Enfield Council in April 2009. In August 2009 she wrote a letter to the Council declaring that she had started unpaid volunteer work at North Middlesex Hospital. She then reported a change in her circumstance in that she had started work earning £13,322 per annum, and then in November 2009 provided a payslip which showed she had received £828.60 in gross pay. 

Suspicion had fallen on Ms O’Garro after Enfield Council’s Counter Fraud investigators received information indicating that she had received an increase in her earnings.

Officers conducted an investigation into her claim to benefit, and after contacting her employer established that in April 2012 her gross pay had increased from £901.40 per month to £1,523.17 and by October 2013 to £1,608.25.

Investigators also established O’Garro had been sent numerous letters by the benefit department notifying her of the amount of benefit which she had been awarded, and how this had been calculated using details of the pay she had declared. All the letters contained details about the changes she needed to report and how to contact the Council.

In April 2014 officers from the Counter Fraud Team interviewed Ms O’Garro under caution where she admitted she had increases in her pay, and knew that these changes in circumstances had to be reported but she had not contacted the Council.

Cllr Andrew Stafford, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said “This is simple greed from someone who was arrogant enough to believe she could get away with claiming benefits she wasn’t entitled to.

“It is a classic example of someone believing that when their circumstances change, usually when they start earning more than they originally stated on their claim forms, they can keep quiet about it and we will not find out.

“They then carry on receiving benefits, while earning more and they hope authorities will not find out. We will find out, and make no mistake this is benefit fraud. All changes in circumstances must be reported as soon as they occur, or like Ms O’Garro you will be tracked down and prosecuted.”

More articles in the news archive.