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Enfield fraudster pays price at court

Published Wednesday, 03 December 2014

A benefit fraudster, prosecuted by Enfield Council, who received over £7,000 of benefits to which she was not entitled was sentenced on Thursday 27th November at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court to a 12 month Community Order with 100 hours of unpaid work, plus costs of £575, with a seven day collection order being made.

Tracey Wyre, 46, of Purcell House, Enfield, appeared at court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing on 6th November 2014 at Tottenham Magistrates Court to one charge of dishonestly making a false statement, and three charges of failing to promptly notify Enfield Council of changes in her circumstances.

Ms Wyre initially claimed Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from Enfield Council in June 2009 as a lone parent, she declared on her claim to benefit that she held two bank accounts, one of which had a negative balance.

Suspicion had fallen on Ms Wyre after investigators received a report indicating that she had undeclared bank accounts.

After contacting Santander Bank investigators established she had three additional bank accounts which held capital in excess of £6,000 that had not been declared to Enfield Council. In total Ms Wyre had opened and closed 12 bank accounts with Santander.

The information obtained from the bank also showed that in June 2010 she had received in excess of £65,000 into one of her bank accounts.

In July 2014 officers from the Counter Fraud Team interviewed Ms Wyre under caution. She admitted she held additional bank accounts and capital with Santander which had not been declared to the authority. She also admitted that she knew when completing claim forms she would have received less benefits if she had declared the accounts.

During the interview Ms Wyre also revealed that in December 2013 her mother had moved into her property. She went on to disclose that in May 2014 she had increased her working hours and was receiving more wages than she had previously declared, also that she had dishonestly failed to report these changes to Enfield Council.

In total Ms Wyre had fraudulently claimed and received £6,757.68 in Housing Benefit, £468.26 in Council Tax Benefit and £178.20 in Council Tax Support between 29th September 2009 and 6th July 2014.

Cllr Andrew Stafford, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said “Once again a fraudster who thinks by not telling the council about their true circumstances they will be able to steal from the public purse.

“But because of joint working between agencies and our ability to cross check data there is no hiding places for people who lie about their circumstances.

“In this case, as with all others, we will pursue the fraudster to recoup all the money taken illegally.”

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