A fraudster who got more than £2,500 in benefits despite owning her own home and getting rent from tenants has been told to repay the cash and carry out unpaid work.
At Banbury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday last week, Deborah Cammack, 55, pleaded guilty to making false statements to Cherwell District Council (CDC).
The court heard between May 31 last year and March 7 this year, Cammack got £2,300 in housing benefit and £354 in council tax benefit while living in Bicester Caravan Park in Chesterton.
But after getting information from Ceredigion Council, investigators found Cammack owned a £175,000 property in Wales which she was letting to tenants for £625 per month.
Cammack, of Newcastle Emlyn in Ceredigion, had told the council she was leaving the property temporarily but was intending to return. She had claimed the home was vacant and up for sale.
Cammack told magistrates she had separated from her husband and had been left in debt. She was ordered to complete 90 hours’ unpaid work, pay £125 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. She will also have to repay the money.
Councillor Ken Atack, CDC’s lead member for finance, said: “Anyone who makes a fraudulent benefit claim is not just defrauding the council, but every single honest taxpayer who pays into a system designed to assist those in genuine need.
“This case should serve as a warning to others that anyone who exploits this service and takes money from us dishonestly can and will be made to repay it in full and receive a criminal record in the process.”
Housing benefit claimants are obliged to reveal details of any income they get from properties.