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Benefits cheat who stole £18,000 had £40,000 in bank

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A benefits cheat will have to pay back more than £18,000 after admitting two counts of fraud.

Pauline Sterling, 57, of Youngs Close, Aylesbury appeared in court on Tuesday after failing to declare savings of £40,000.

She continued to claim income support and council tax benefit between 2005 and 2012, while holding on to the savings which were £24,000 over the allowed limit.

Sterling’s total fraudulent benefits claims totalled £18,341.

She was given a year-long community punishment order and ordered to pay £200 towards the cost of bringing the prosecution.

The Department for Work and Pensions and Aylesbury Vale District Council will pursue full recovery of the overpayment.

Councillor Neil Blake, leader of the council, said: “We take benefit fraud extremely seriously.

“We have an excellent track record in uncovering fraud and this prosecution should serve as a warning to others who think they can get away with cheating the system.

“Those who fraudulently claim benefits are putting an additional, unnecessary burden on the taxpayer and we will not tolerate it.”

If you are claiming housing or council tax benefits and are unsure as to whether or not you are still entitled to receive them, contact AVDC on 01296 585618 for advice.

To confidentially report a case of benefit fraud to AVDC, please call 01296 585570 or email benefitfraud@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

 

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