A BELBROUGHTON benefit cheat who falsely claimed almost £6,800 will have to pay back every penny and carry out 100 hours unpaid work.
Helen O’Nions, 38, of The Glebe was sentenced at Redditch Magistrates Court on Tuesday (December 15) after pleading guilty to fraudulently claiming housing benefit.
The cash was acquired between February 2014 and September this year by O’Nions who did not declare her earnings had increased.
An investigation was carried our after a data match which compared electronic information shared between local authorities and the HMRC to prevent and detect fraud.
The court heard there was even one occasion when O’Nions had contacted the council but had not reported her increased earnings.
O’Nions was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £150 in costs, £135 in Crown Prosecution Service Costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
The council is recovering the £6,798.36 that was overpaid.
A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “This case once again demonstrates the importance of declaring true circumstances when claiming benefit and reporting any changes as they take place.
“Failure to do so may lead to a criminal record and could have an impact on future claims.”
Anybody wanting to report a case of suspected benefit fraud can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the investigation team during office hours on 01527 534011.