150 hours unpaid work handed out to fraudster

6 December 2012

Released on 23 November 2012

A benefits cheat who repeatedly ignored Council investigators' pleas to discuss her claim has been ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work by Magistrates.

Karen Price, 53, formerly of Toad Acre, Longstanton, now living at Hereward Close, Impington, failed to tell South Cambridgeshire District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions when she found employment in November 2010 - affecting her benefits claim.

As Miss Price failed to inform authorities that she had found work, she was overpaid over £2,000 in housing benefit and more than £900 in jobseekers allowance.

The overpaid benefit will now be recovered by council fraud chiefs and she also ordered to pay the Council's costs totalling £100.

Cambridge Magistrates Court heard yesterday (Thursday 22 November) that Miss Price was invited to attend interviews under caution to discuss the matter with the District Council but failed to turn up on five occasions.

Cllr Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said:

"Benefits cheats should know that ignoring investigators is not an option as fraud will always catch up with you. Our officers always try to work with anyone suspected of benefit fraud and they are invited voluntarily attend interviews to give their side of the story. By failing to turn up they do themselves no favours as we have little choice than send the case straight to Court or pass it to the Police."

To discuss a benefits claim, or inform the Council of a change of circumstances please call 03450 450 061.

Anyone wishing to report suspected fraud should call 0800 7311892 or email benefitfraud@scambs.gov.uk.

Last Updated: 23 November 2012  13:23