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£30,000 Headington benefits fraudster must repay £2,800
6:00pm Saturday 21st July 2012 in News
A WOMAN who lived a double life for 30 years has been told to pay back less than £3,000 of her ill-gotten gains.
As the Oxford Mail reported in March, Nina Raymont used a variety of names and had two passports as she lived an extraordinary globetrotting fraud.
The 59-year-old, who also went by the name Sandra Forshaw, conned Oxford City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) out of £30,765 in benefits.
She was given a suspended jail term and told to do 250 hours’ unpaid work in March after admitting three counts of fraud, one of perjury and two charges of obtaining property by deception.
On Thursday, Raymont was back at Oxford Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act Hearing where it was contested on her behalf that she would have been able to legitimately claim about two thirds of the benefits had she used her real identity to do so.
Judge Gordon Risius said he could not take this into account in deciding how much she had netted from a criminal lifestyle and set the figure at £30,966.32p. The total available to be confiscated was assessed as £2,844.21 contained within bank accounts and traveller’s cheques.
Raymont, who lives in Lime Walk, Headington, and is still claiming benefits, must pay that figure within six months or face two months in jail. The money will be split equally between Oxford City Council and the DWP.
Raymont’s deceit began in 1982 when she skipped police bail after her drug-filled flat in Oxford’s Wood Farm was raided.
After suffering a breakdown she ended up in an Essex mental hospital where she assumed the identity of fellow patient Sandra Forshaw.
Travelling to Europe and then the US on a passport in Miss Forshaw’s name, Raymont later turned up in Guatemala where she fraudulently renewed the passport in the married name of Sandra Sommers.
She returned to Britain in 2009 and managed to take out a passport in her real name, but used her fake ID to get pension credits.
When police began investigating her last year, she lied on oath by telling Oxford magistrates she was Sandra Forshaw.