Woman jailed for six months for benefit fraud

By on 09/12/2011 in News

A woman has been sentenced to six months in jail for benefit fraud following an investigation by Birmingham City Council.

Janet Heath, aged 46 of Elmay Road in Sheldon, falsely claimed over £12,000 of housing benefit, council tax and job seekers' allowance.

She was sentenced today (Tuesday 15 November) at Birmingham magistrates' court.

The joint investigation with the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) found that Heath had failed to declare that she owned another property when she claimed benefit. She later admitted owning this property but said it had been bought for her daughter, though nothing had ever been put in her daughter's name.

Heath falsely claimed £3,784 of job seekers' allowance, £6,870 of housing benefit and £1,473 of council tax benefit. She was sentenced to two months for each offence, to be served consecutively.

Councillor Randal Brew, cabinet member for finance, said: “The council has already successfully taken action against more than 500 fraudsters since April this year and we will continue to ensure those who commit benefit fraud are brought to account.”

Anyone suspecting they know someone committing benefit fraud can call the council's benefit fraud hotline on 0121 303 9990. Calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous if they wish.

Benefit fraud can also be reported online. To find out more information visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/bhamaudit

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