Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Magistrates order benefits cheat to carry out unpaid work

A CONTINUING clampdown on benefits cheats by West Somerset Council saw a third man prosecuted in the space of a month.
Jameel Khan, aged 31, of Townsend Road, Minehead, claimed nearly £3,000 in housing and council tax benefits to which he was not entitled.
His fraud was conducted over a period of eight months this year, from March to October, after he failed to tell the council he had been working.
Khan carried on claiming housing and council tax benefits after finding work in March, and although the job ended in May, he found further employment in July and again failed to declare it to the council.
As a result, Khan received £2,168.38 in housing benefit and £698.44 in council tax benefit between March and October to which he was not entitled.
Khan pleaded guilty to the offences when he appeared before West Somerset magistrates.
The magistrates gave him credit for his guilty plea and the fact that Khan had already started to repay the overpayment.
They decided a community order was appropriate and sentenced Khan to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work.
After the case, West Somerset Council finance portfolio holder Councillor Doug Ross said: “It is essential that people claiming benefits report changes in their circumstances to our benefits team immediately.
“We are keen to help those facing genuine hardship, and encourage people in difficulty to seek our help and not to risk getting themselves into trouble.”

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