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Oakenshaw women gets 12 month supervision order for benefit fraud
5:50pm Monday 4th March 2013 in Local
AN Oakenshaw woman has been sentenced to a 12 month supervision order and ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work for dishonestly claiming benefits.
Yvonne Nikola, age 27, of Northside Close, was sentenced by Redditch Magistrates Court on February 27 after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support amounting to £27,170.15 between March 2009 and June 2012. She had failed to declare that her partner was living with her.
The court heard how suspicions were raised that the claim may have been incorrect by a member of staff at Department for Work and Pensions. A full investigation started after further enquiries confirmed this.
Redditch Council was invited to joint the investigation in order for the full extent of offending to be uncovered. The hearing was adjourned for sentencing in order for a pre-sentence report to be prepared and Ms Nikola was advised that all sentencing options were being considered.
After hearing the report, magistrates said that it was a huge amount of money she had taken and they had considered sending her to prison.
But due to her previous good character and early guilty plea she avoided this punishment.
As well as her sentence she has to pay a victim surcharge of £60.
The court was told that the monies falsely claimed will be recovered by the council and the Department for Work and Pensions through their own methods.
Anybody wishing to report a suspicion of benefit fraud can email details to email@example.com or by ringing the Investigation Team during office hours on 01527 534011.