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Benefit cheat pocketed £23k
A 45-YEAR-OLD woman has been given a community order after pleading guilty to overclaiming more than £23,000 in benefits.
Sharon Bishop, of Cherry Close, Greater Leys, Oxford, was charged with fraudulently obtaining housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support between July 2010 and October 2012.
She admitted failing to declare to Oxford City Council changes in her circumstances she knew would affect her entitlement to housing and council tax benefit between August 2010 and October last year.
Bishop also confessed to not declaring a change in her circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions that she knew would affect her entitlement to income support between July 2010 and October last year.
All the offences concern her failure to report that her partner had moved in with her, which led to her fraudulently claiming £23,037.39.
She was sentenced at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, September 24 after pleading guilty on August 27.
Susan Brown, the city council’s executive member for benefits and customer services, said: “It is right that the council pursues fraud wherever it takes place.
“I would urge anyone in receipt of benefits to make sure they notify the council of any change in circumstances which they are required to.”
Bishop was sentenced to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work during the next 12 months and was ordered to pay £85 costs.
She will also have to pay back the money she overclaimed.
- Oxford City Council’s benefit fraud line can be contacted on 01865 252222, or by emailing email@example.com