Woman hid £27,000 inheritance in benefits claim

justiceA woman who hid a £27,000 inheritance and then claimed benefits has been fined.

Lynne Sansome, of Williams Close, Littlethorpe, was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday November 7 after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

People with savings of more than £16,000 are not entitled to benefits.

The court accepted that while Mrs Sansome had chosen to give away some of the money, it was still deemed to be hers and affected her benefit entitlement.

Between April 2008 and January 2012 she received £7,094.70 from Housing and Council Tax Benefit that she had no entitlement to.

The court heard she is already repaying this amount.

Giving credit for her early plea and efforts to repay the falsely claimed benefit, magistrates imposed a £350 fine, £35 victim surcharge and ordered her to pay £607.50 towards the council’s prosecution costs.

The case was brought by Blaby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Speaking after the hearing Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder, said:

“The courts again showed that benefit fraud is taken seriously. People claiming benefits they are not entitled to should be aware that fraudsters are getting caught and facing severe penalties. If anyone else has not declared their true circumstances they should do so before they are caught.”

If you suspect anyone in Blaby District of committing benefit fraud, please call the Council’s confidential Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0116 272 7733 or complete the online form at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud

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