A RUDHEATH woman has been fined £7,000 after pleading guilty to benefit fraud.
Mandy Yardley, of Cookes Lane, failed to declare that she was living with her landlord, who was her stepfather, and was overpaid benefit and discretionary housing payment totalling £7,835.53 – a substantial loss to public funds.
The 31-year-old appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on Monday, February 17 where she pleaded guilty to an offence of dishonestly making false representation in order to claim Housing Benefit and Discretionary Housing Payment.
Councillor Les Ford, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s executive member for resources, said: “The Council is committed to uncovering benefit fraud, which in this case, amounted to a very large sum of public money that can now be recovered.
“This sort of offence is theft and will not be tolerated and the Council will always pursue any attempt at fraud.
“I am pleased that this prosecution has been successful and hope that it will serve as a warning to others that benefit fraud will not be tolerated in West Cheshire at the expense of the borough’s law-abiding tax payers.”
The court sentenced Miss Yardley to a community order for 12 months supervision and 200 hours unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £85 towards the prosecution costs.
Miss Yardley is required to fully repay the overpaid benefit to Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The Council is calling on anyone who thinks someone they know is claiming benefit that they are not entitled to, to report their suspicions by ringing 0300 123 7030 or via the authority’s website cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk Residents can also email firstname.lastname@example.org All information received will be treated in the strictest of confidence.