A WYTHALL benefits cheat has been ordered to pay back more than £6,500 in benefits she was not entitled to after making false claims about hardship.
Judith Kidenya, 42, of Selsdon Close, will need to return the cash after pleading guilty to two offences of dishonestly claiming housing benefit between June 2013 and September 2014.
Two further offences were admitted by Kidenya, who failed to notify Stratford District Council she had moved to an address in Bromsgrove and continued to claim housing benefit for an address in Guild Street in Stratford Upon Avon.
She also made a false claim for hardship payments from Bromsgrove District Council’s Essential Living Fund totalling £434.80.
That £434.80 will now have to be paid back and the £6,318.94 is already being recovered by Bromsgrove District Council.
Kidenya has also been handed a 12-month community order which will see her undertake 60 hours of unpaid work and she will have to pay £920 prosecution costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
The investigation initially began as a result of a data match that matches electronic data within local authorities and HMRC to prevent and detect fraud. Stratford District Council was invited to join the investigation to establish the true extent of the offending.
A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “This case 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.”
Visit www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/fraud for more information on how to report benefits fraud.