Two Huntingdonshire benefit fraudsters caught after tip-offs


- Credit: Archant

A FRAUD team has convicted two Huntingdonshire benefit fraudsters after tip-offs from the public.

Sophia Curtis, of Chapel Close, Needingworth, declared that she was a single person in part time work living in the three-bedroom home in February 2010.

Huntingdon magistrates were told last Wednesday (April 10) that a member of the public contacted Huntingdonshire District Council’s Fruad Team to tell them that Curtis had a second job and had lodgers living at her address.

An investigation showed Curtis took on a second job in November 2012 which was she had not declared and had an undisclosed bank account which her wages and ‘rent’ payments were paid.

The team’s enquiries to the police and NHS showed that other people lived at Curtis’s address which she claimed benefit as sole occupier.

In all, Curtis was overpaid more than £8,500 in benefits between February 2010 and August 2012.

Curtis admitted four charges of benefit fraud.

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Elaine Havord, mitigating, said Curtis had large debts and had taken in lodgers and undertaken another work to assist these and, although she had accepted guilt in failing to report these facts to the council, Curtis had not had lodgers staying at her home throughout.

Curtis was ordered to repay £8,516 to HDC, pay £125 costs and was given a 12-month community order with 180 hours of unpaid work.

On the same day, Irene Moss, 68, of Brookway, St Ives, admitted making a false representation to HDC in an attempt to be re-housed by a social landlord.

Huntigndon Magistrates’ Court heard that in May last year Moss told the council that she was being evicted from her home by her son and wanted to be added to the housing register.

As part of her application Moss submitted letters from her son saying that she had to leave as he could not afford for her to live there anymore.

After a tip-off in July, an investigation was launched which found Moss bought the Brookway home in 2010 and lived there as sole owner since.

Jemma Riley, mitigating, told the court Moss had reading difficulties and misunderstood the process leading to her making an application that wasn’t correct.

Moss was fined £300 and ordered to pay £150 costs.