Five in court for benefit fraud

FIVE people appeared before magistrates in Huntingdon this week accused of fraudulently claiming a total of more than £25,500 in housing and Council Tax benefits. Saiqa Saraj, 26, formerly of Laburnum Way, Yaxley pleaded guilty to two charges of benefit f

FIVE people appeared before magistrates in Huntingdon this week accused of fraudulently claiming a total of more than £25,500 in housing and Council Tax benefits.

Saiqa Saraj, 26, formerly of Laburnum Way, Yaxley pleaded guilty to two charges of benefit fraud involving a total of more than £12,400 after she failed to inform Huntingdonshire District Council on her claims for housing and Council Tax benefit between 2002 and 2005 that her husband Mohammed Saraj lived with her and was running a business.

The case was adjourned for reports before she is sentenced on February 27.

In four other cases people who had pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming benefits from HDC were sentenced.


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Daniel Edwards, 24, of Longsands Road, St Neots, pleaded guilty to one charge of benefit fraud, having failed to declare that he worked for three employers in 2006. He was overpaid £972.84.

He was sentenced to 40 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay compensation to the council of £785.67 for the outstanding balance of the money.

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Andrew Turner, 39, of Sapley Road, Huntingdon, had pleaded guilty to running a business as a security guard while he claimed housing benefit as an unemployed person. He was overpaid £1471.43 between June and December 2006.

Turner, who admitted one charge of benefit fraud, was sentenced to 40 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £200 costs to the council. He had already made arrangements to repay the benefits he had wrongly claimed.

Sarah Hollliss, 37, of Alwyn Close, St Ives, pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud when she failed to declare that she worked as a doorperson between 2005 and 2007. She was overpaid £3,453.47 in housing and Council Tax benefit.

The court heard that Holliss, who had been prosecuted in June 2007 for similar matters of benefit fraud, had three children, all of whom had varying special needs. Holliss was ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work. She had already agreed with the council to repay the benefits she claimed.

Gemma Moules, 25, formerly of Bell Lane, Fenstanton, pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud between 2003 and 2005 when she failed to declare that her partner Lee Harvie lived with her and that she had also worked when she claimed benefit as an unemployed single mother.

The council was tipped off by a member of the public about the fraud and, following an investigation, it was found that Moules had been overpaid £7,222.92 between 2003 and 2005. The court heard that Moules, who now lives in Hertfordshire and is unemployed, was of previous good character. She received a 24-month conditional discharge and has made arrangements to repay the council.

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