A 46-year old woman from Bushey has received a suspended custodial sentence following an investigation into housing benefit and income support fraud.
Doreen Dankyi from Herne Road appeared at St Albans Crown Court on 4 March charged with two offences; failing to promptly notify Hertsmere Borough Council of a change of circumstances that would affect her entitlement to housing benefit and failing to promptly notify the Department for Work and Pensions of changes that would affect her right to receive income support.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges, but was found guilty by jury and received a 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months, with a three-month curfew being applied between 9pm and 6am.
It was found during the course of the investigation that Ms Dankyi had been receiving support to which she was no longer entitled. Between August 2014 and August 2016 she was earning £36,856 per year whilst still claiming income support and receiving housing benefit. Her housing benefit overpayment totalled more than £13,000 and income support was just over £7,000.
Councillor John Graham, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, said: “This case sends out a clear message that discrepancies over benefits claims will be picked up by investigators and any suspected offenders will be prosecuted. Housing benefits and income support provide help to those in the most need. Claimants are responsible for making sure that they promptly notify the relevant authorities when their circumstances change.”
For more information, visit hertsmere.gov.uk/changeofcircumstances