Community order for woman who fraudulently claimed £10,000 in benefits

Watford Observer: Community order for woman who fraudulently claimed £10,000 in benefits Community order for woman who fraudulently claimed £10,000 in benefits

A 57-year-old woman, previously from Bushey, has been sentenced after being overpaid £10,665 in benefits, following an investigation by the council's anti-fraud unit.

Toni Leport, previously of Park Avenue, Bushey, but now of Crowborough, East Sussex, pleaded guilty to one charge of knowingly failing to declare a change in circumstances under Section 112 of the Social Security Administration Act 2014.

Today at St Albans Crown court she was given a 12-month community order with a requirement to do 180 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

Mrs Leport had started a claim for housing and council tax benefits in 2009 based upon her working as a driver at a school in the area.

However in September 2010 she started a second job at the school as a teaching assistant but did not notify the council about the extra hours she worked or the income she received.

As a result, she was overpaid nearly £9,000 in housing benefit and £1,665 in council tax benefit between September 2010 and June 2013. Mrs Leport is repaying the money owed to the council.

Councillor John Graham, portfolio holder for finance and property at Hertsmere Borough Council, said: "This sentencing reinforces how important it is for claimants to ensure they are proactive about notifying the council about any changes in their personal circumstances.  This helps to make sure that benefits reach those people who need them most."

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