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 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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Benefit fraud prosecution

16 August 2013

Allerdale Borough Council has prosecuted a woman from Workington for claiming £2,511.06 in Housing Benefit and £553.43 in Council Tax Benefit to which she was not entitled.

On 8 August 2013, West Cumbria Magistrates heard how Christine Clague, aged 39 of Burrow Walls, Workington had claimed Housing and Council Tax benefits since at least 2010.

In October 2012 a review by the Fraud Team which looked at cases where no changes in earnings had been received for a period of thirteen months or more showed Ms Clague has not given any details of her earnings since July 2010. Further correspondence with Ms Clague’s employer revealed that there were many months when Ms Clague received earnings which were much higher than those she declared in 2010.

As a result of failing to declare her true income, Christine Clague was overpaid Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit amounting to £3,064.49 between May 2010 and October 2012.

At court, Ms Clague was found guilty of the offence of failing to notify of a change in circumstances, which resulted in her obtaining Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit to which she was not entitled. The court sentenced Ms Clague to a curfew requiring her to remain at her home address between the hours of 8pm and 6am daily for the next eight weeks commencing 8 August 2013. She was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a Victim Surcharge of £60. The overpaid benefit is being recovered.

Members of the public who suspect benefit fraud is being committed can call Allerdale Borough Council’s 24-hour Benefit Fraud Hotline in confidence on 0800 169 5119 or complete, anonymously, an online form at www.allerdale.gov.uk/benefitfraud .

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ