Benefit fraudster narrowly avoids jail term

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A WOMAN who pocketed more than £20,000 in benefits – on a house she claimed she ‘no longer had anything to do with’ – has narrowly escaped jail.

Rita Corby claimed the benefits while living in High Street, Astwood, but had failed to notify the council and the Department for Work and Pensions that she had an interest in a property she had bought in Middlesex Drive, Bletchley.

But city magistrates heard last Friday that Mrs Corby, using her maiden name of Boggin, eventually admitted she was actually renting out the property, while still claiming Housing and Council Tax Benefit and Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

This week she was sentenced to eight weeks custody, suspended for a year, as well as being ordered to pay back the full amount of £20,171.32 after admitting two counts of Making a False Statement to Obtain Benefits, contrary to Section 111A(1a), Social Security Administration Act 1992.

The full breakdown of the benefits claimed by Mrs Corby was housing benefit of £11,460.78, Council Tax Benefit of £1,856.80 and ESA of £6,853.74

Mrs Corby was also made subject to a curfew order, to run for 16 weeks, and to pay Milton Keynes Council’s full prosecution costs of £626.24.