Benefit cheat admits fraud

This Is Wiltshire: Benefit cheat  admits fraud Benefit cheat admits fraud

BENEFIT cheat Hayley Walklate from Royal Wootton Bassett admitted to failing to notify Wiltshire Council of changes to her circumstances.

The 39-year-old, from Richards Close, claimed over £5,000 more than she was due after failing to notify Wiltshire Council that she was receiving an income.

Between December 2011 and October 2012, the council overpaid Walklate with £4,150.90 in Housing Benefit and £1,385.54 Council Tax Benefit.

Walklate failed to attend interviews arranged by Wiltshire Council’s investigation team, and when she then failed to attend a summons to court on July 7 a warrant for her arrest was then issued.

She finally appeared in Swindon Magistrates Court on August 4, when she pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstances, namely that she was in receipt of undeclared monies which she knew would affect her entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

As well as having to repay the total overpaid amount of benefits, Walklate was given a 12 month community order with 70 hours of unpaid work.

She was also ordered to pay costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £60.

A Wiltshire Council spokes-man said: “The council is very keen to stamp out fraud and will take action against those found to be cheating the system.

“If you have any information that can help catch a cheat, call Wiltshire Council’s confidential hotline on 01249 706256 or the National Fraud Hotline on 0800 854440.

“Fraud can also be reported on the Council’s website, www.wiltshire.gov.uk/benefitfraud. You do not have to give your name and you can be assured of complete confidentiality at all times.”

They also reiterated that it is always the responsibility of the person claiming benefit to tell the council of any changes in circumstances which may affect their entitlement.

If there is any doubt, then the Revenues and Benefits Team will be happy to discuss any issues.

Please contact 0300 456 0110 to report any changes in circumstances or ask for advice.

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