Benefit Cheat who Claimed more than £25,000 is Electronically Tagged
A woman who claimed more than £25,000 in benefits to which she was not entitled because she was receiving money from her estranged husband has been put under curfew and electronically tagged.
Donna McNamara, 39, of Ivatt in Glascote, claimed Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, without declaring that she had received payments from her estranged husband.
The total overpayment was £25, 323, made up of £10,846 Income Support, £5,503 Housing Benefit and £1,293 Council Tax Benefit paid by Tamworth Borough Council, as well as £6,536 Housing Benefit and £1,143 Council Tax Benefit paid by Northampton Borough Council.
Mrs McNamara appeared at Stafford Crown Court on Thursday June 21 where she pleaded guilty. She was given four months in custody suspended for 12 months, an 18-month supervision order and a three-month curfew to run from 6pm to 6am Monday to Saturday, to be monitored by an electronic tag.
She was also ordered to pay back the £25, 323.04 fraudulently obtained.
The case was jointly prosecuted by Tamworth Borough Council, Northampton Borough Council and Department for Work and Pensions.
“We are taking a strong stance when it comes to benefit fraud as it is a serious crime which affects all of the taxpayers in Tamworth,” said Tamworth Borough Council deputy leader Cllr Robert Pritchard.
“The money wrongfully claimed by benefit cheats could be spent elsewhere, such as improving our town or helping those who really need it. While everyone is facing potential financial difficulties at the moment, providing false information to claim benefits you are not entitled to is not an option.”
Benefit fraud is committed when a person deliberately provides false information, deliberately withholds information or allows someone else to provide false information to obtain benefits to which they are not entitled. It is important that residents keep their details up to date and let the Benefits Team know if there have been any changes in circumstances.
If you are not sure if you need to change your details, please contact a member the Benefits Team on 709540. To report someone you believe may be committing Benefit Fraud, you can also contact The National Benefit Fraud Hotline in confidence on 0800 328 6340.