Aylesbury benefits cheat sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work

View, Magistrates Court sign, in Aylesbury
View, Magistrates Court sign, in Aylesbury

A benefits cheat who falsely claimed more than £13,000 has been has ordered to carry out 120 hours of voluntary service.

Michelle Scott, 42, of Long Meadow, Aylesbury, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to give prompt notification of change of circumstances relating to housing and council tax benefit and income support.

Aylesbury Magistrates’ Court heard that between June 2010 and October 2011, Scott fraudulently claimed £13,853 in benefits despite living with her husband, Adam Downie, who was in employment.

The dishonest claims were uncovered by a joint investigation between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Scott received £8,703 in housing and council tax benefit and £5,149 in income support.

She was sentenced to a 12 month community order and 120 hours unpaid work.

The magistrates also ordered Scott to pay £1,000 compensation to both the DWP and AVDC.

She will also have to repay all the overpaid benefits.

Councillor Neil Blake, cabinet member for resources, said: “We are continuing to crack down on the minority of people who continue to try and dishonestly claim money which is intended for those who genuinely need our support and I believe local residents will welcome our continuing efforts to investigate and prosecute those who try to ignore the law.”

Anyone with information that can help catch a benefit cheat, should call AVDC’s confidential hotline on 01296 585570.

Benefit fraud can also be reported on the council’s website at www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk. Again, it is completely confidential.