Three people have been prosecuted by Lichfield District Council for claiming benefits they were not entitled to.
Lloyd Waldron-Perkins, of Laights Farm in Kidderminster, pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonestly making a false declaration in connection with his claim to housing benefit.
The court heard that the 41-year-old made a claim for housing benefit for a property on Sandford Street in Lichfield. It was later found that he had never lived at the address and had forged a tenancy agreement.
Waldron-Perkins was overpaid £1,923 in housing benefit, which the court ordered him to pay back to the council through a compensation order. He was also sentenced to 18 months community order, 18 months supervision, 200 hours’ unpaid work, and ordered to pay £1,350 in court costs.
Jennifer Pitt, of Deykin Road in Lichfield, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to give prompt notification of a change of circumstances in connection with her claim to housing benefit and council tax benefit.
The court heard that the 36-year-old failed to notify Lichfield District Council when her husband returned to the marital home after previously separating.
As a result of her actions, Pitt was overpaid benefit of £3,464. She was sentenced on April 4 to a 12 months Community Order, 50 hours’ unpaid work, and ordered to pay £450 costs. She is also repaying the council the money.
Elsewhere, a local woman was prosecuted after a joint investigation by Lichfield District Council and the Department of Work and Pensions into income support and housing and council tax benefit fraud.
Tara Heeley – previously Woolley – of Darnford View in Lichfield, pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly failing to give prompt notification of a change of circumstances in connection with her claims for income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.
The court heard that the 25-year-old failed to declare that she had a partner living with her. As a result of her actions she was overpaid benefits of £9,919.
Heeley was sentenced to 12 months supervision and ordered to pay £85 costs. All the benefit fraudulently obtained will have to be repaid.
Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “If you are claiming benefits or support, it’s really important to make sure you report any changes in your circumstances to the correct department straightaway.
“If you are worried about your claim, please contact us as soon as possible, so we can help to make sure you are claiming the right amount.”