When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Benefits cheat claimed £2,500 despite letting out home worth £175,000
A 55-YEAR-OLD woman claimed more than £2,500 in benefits despite owning her own home and receiving income from tenants.
Banbury Magistrates’ Court was told that between May 31, 2012 and March 7, 2013, Deborah Cammack applied to Cherwell District Council to receive £2,301.43 housing benefit and £354.06 council tax benefit.
She made the claims while living at the Bicester Caravan Park Home in Chesterton.
After receiving information from Ceredigion Council, Cherwell’s investigation team discovered Cammack owned a £175,000 property in Wales, which she was letting to tenants for £625 a month.
On moving to Chesterton, Cammack had informed Ceredigion Council she was leaving the property temporarily, but was intending to return.
Under housing benefit regulations, claimants must disclose if they own and are receiving income from any other property.
At the court on Tuesday she told magistrates she made the claims because she had separated from her husband and had been left in debt, the council said.
She declared the property was vacant and for sale and did not say it was being let out.
Cammack, of Newcastle Emlyn, in Ceredigion, pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonestly making false statements to Cherwell District Council to receive benefits.
Cherwell’s lead member for finance, Ken Atack, said: “This case should serve as a warning to others that anyone who exploits this service and takes money from us dishonestly can and will be made to repay it in full and receive a criminal record in the process.”
She was ordered to complete 90 hours’ unpaid work, pay £125 costs and £60 victims’ surcharge.
She will also have to repay the overpayment, which she has begun to do.
Since April 2011 the council has successfully prosecuted 37 offenders for benefit fraud meaning £185,766.41 needs to be repaid.
Comments are closed on this article.