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Stone benefits cheats ordered to pay back thousands

By Kerry.Ashdown  |  Posted: May 14, 2014

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TWO Stone women have been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds in benefits they were not entitled to.

Julia Dele-Fane, of Lichfield Street, falsely claimed £6,789.53 of Housing Benefit and £1,173.19 of Council Tax Benefit between September 2011 and January 2014.

In a separate case Emma Johnson, of Chestnut Grove, falsely claimed £2520.54 of Housing Benefit and £167.47 of Council Tax Benefit between April 2012 and January 2014.

Both women admitted failing to tell Stafford Borough of a change in circumstances. An investigation by the council revealed both women had received an increase in their income.

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Dele-Fane was fined £150 and Johnson was fined £100 at Stafford Magstrates’ Court on May 7. They have also both been ordered to pay back the money they wrongly claimed, as well as £300 costs to the council and £20 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the case, the borough council’s head of finance Bob Keane said: “We are determined to prevent people cheating tax payers out of money they are not entitled to. It is unfair on all those people who do pay their dues – and if you do cheat the system you should expect to be caught.”

During the last financial year Stafford Borough Council uncovered fraudulent claims worth more than £350,000. Anyone with information can report it in confidence to the fraud hotline on 01785 619447 or email fraud@staffordbc.gov.uk.

More information on benefits is available at www.staffordbc.gov.uk.or by contacting 01785 619478 or benefits@staffordbc.gov.uk.

Mr Keane added: “We also want to make sure those entitled to benefits get them so please contact us for information and advice if you are unsure about what to do or what you are entitled to.”

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