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Woodbridge: 26-year-old pleads guilty to benefit fraud

13:41 27 August 2014

Ipswich Magistrates' Court

Ipswich Magistrates' Court

Archant

A Suffolk woman has pleaded guilty to benefit fraud of more than £6,000.

Lauren Revett, 26, of Girton Close, Woodbridge, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Miss Revett’s case was brought to Magistrates’ after a joint investigation between Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

She pleaded guilty to two counts – one of dishonestly making a false statement to the Department for Work and Pensions in order to obtain Income Support and one of dishonestly making a false statement to Suffolk Coastal District Council in order to obtain housing and council tax benefit.

Both charges relate to her stating that she was single, when she in fact had her partner living with her, and both are offences under section 111A(1)(a) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

The total overpayment was £6,075.34. Miss Revett was given a two year conditional discharge and will also have to repay all the money she was overpaid.

Siobhan Martin, head of audit at Suffolk Coastal, said: “Suffolk Coastal has a zero tolerance approach towards fraud and corruption of any kind. We will prosecute offenders.

“This offender now has a criminal record and will have to pay back all the money she fraudulently claimed.

“This demonstrates the consequences of being dishonest when you are claiming benefits. The benefits system is in place to support people with genuine needs. I would appeal for people to be honest when submitting claims.

“The message is simple, if you are not honest, you will be found out and prosecuted.”

Doreen Savage, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing said: “This outcome once again demonstrates the hard work, determination and commitment of the corporate counter fraud team.

“If you are a benefit cheat, we will find out and you will be prosecuted.”

Suffolk Coastal offer a 24-hour fraud hotline for people to call confidentially and report suspected benefit frauds. Call 01394 444444 or email: fraud.investigation@suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

6 comments

  • Well said all of you but especially Johnthebap. I completely agree.

    Report this comment

    Val

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • People should not be allowed to pay any fines from benefits if instead a community service order can be substituted and they can work off the restitution. What is the point of paying fines from money given to them by the taxpayer! We are a very soft touch in the UK for benefits and it is both surprising and shocking that all a Tory government can manage in 4 years is to attack the weakest and not deal adequately with the hardcore benefit fiddlers and the ease with which benefits are given to immigrants WHEN UK CITIZENS WOULD NOT RECEIVE THE SAME KIND OF TREATMENT IN THEIR COUNTRIES. In fact I would like to see more reciprocity whereby we treat immigrants in the same way we would be treated in their countries; so, if we cannot obtain benefits there then they do not get them here. And if they do not like it then they go home.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • If she does pay back the money and that's a big IF, where will it come from? Oh yes, benefits of course, that normal working people pay through their taxes. What a wonderful world we live in.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • Of course if Mis Revitt is on benefits she will be paying back £5 a week and will probably never fully pay back the debt. I do think people convicted of benefit fraud should very simply forfeit the right to claim benefit until the debt is repaid.

    Report this comment

    Sentinel Red

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • If only this much effort was put into making big businesses pay the tax they owe. This is minuscule.

    Report this comment

    RachelM

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • So no punishment and she has just got to pay back what she dishonestly obtained , seems like a right result , cheaper than any loan i know of !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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