Worcester Park resident guilty of council tax fraud

Mrs Suna Grainger, of Stoneleigh Avenue, Worcester Park appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court on the 24thJune 2014 having been charged with two offences of failing to declare a change in circumstances in order to obtain Council Tax Benefit from the London Borough of Sutton and Income Support from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The court heard that Mrs Grainger claimed to be living alone as a single parent with no income when in fact her partner was living with her and working. This resulted in an overpayment of benefit totalling £9,164.99.

Mrs Grainger pleaded guilty to the two charges levied against her. In passing sentence the Magistrates stated that although her claim was not false from the outset, when her partner returned to her property she failed to notify the relevant authorities and she continued to receive benefits she knew that she wasn’t entitled to receive.

Mrs Grainger has been sentenced to a 60 hour community punishment order to be completed within one year. Costs of one hundred pounds where awarded to the prosecution along with a victim surcharge of sixty pounds.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Nick Emmerson, lead member for Revenues and Benefit at Sutton Council said:

“Mrs Grainger lied to the council in order to falsely claim thousands of pounds in Council Tax Benefit she was not entitled to.

“Council Tax Benefit exists so that people can receive help when they need it. Mrs Grainger abused this scheme and as a result now has a criminal record.”

If you think someone is claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or a Council Tax Reduction they are not entitled to, please call the Council’s Investigation Team, in confidence, on 020 8770 5687 or go to the websitewww.sutton.gov.uk.

Alternatively call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 328 6340 or Textphone on 0800 328 6341. You can also follow the Investigation Team on Twitter @LBSInvestigates.