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No life of Riley for benefit fraudster

Published Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Enfield Council has successfully prosecuted a benefit claimant for failing to report that the property she was living in was in fact owned by her mother, and is now seeking to recover all stolen benefits.

Carol Riley, 46 of Goldsdown Close, Enfield, was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on 22 May after she had previously pleaded guilty to two charges under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 relating to her claim for Housing Benefit.

She was given a 12 month Community Order, requiring her to undertake 100 hours unpaid work and attend for 36 hours at a Women’s Senior Attendance Centre.

The Court had previously heard that Ms Riley told the Council that she was not related to her landlord when she made a claim for Housing Benefit at Goldsdown Close; however, following enquiries made by Enfield Council investigators, it was discovered the address was owned by Ms Riley’s mother, and the claim was disallowed.

Investigators also established that Ms Riley’s entitlement to Income Support had ceased but she had not told the Council and continued to receive her Housing Benefit payments.

As a result of the above, Ms Riley was overpaid Housing Benefit of £27,885 and Council Tax Benefit of £1,312, which the Council are in the process of recovering from her.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency, Cllr Andrew Stafford said: “In fraud cases we often see claimants pretending to not know their landlord in order to get housing benefits.

“Our assessors constantly check such claims, and this is how fraudsters, such as Ms Riley, come to light.

“Lying to the authorities is not worth it, you will be caught and prosecuted and Enfield Council will make every effort to recover every penny stolen”

Benefit fraud should be reported directly to the Department for Work and Pensions on 0800 854 440 or via their website Link

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