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 0303 123 1702

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

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Benefit fraud prosecution

11 July 2014

Allerdale Borough Council has prosecuted a woman from Maryport for claiming nearly £2704 in Housing & Council Tax Benefit to which she was not entitled.

On 10 July 2014, West Cumbria Magistrates heard how Nicola Wallace, aged 41, of 18 Ellenfoot Drive, Maryport had claimed housing & council tax benefits since at least 2010.

In September 2013 a review was carried out by the Benefit Investigation Unit which looked at cases where no changes in earnings had been received. Mrs Wallace had not declared any changes in her husband’s income since 2010. Further correspondence with Mr Wallace’s employer revealed that he had left their employment in 2010. This change had not been notified to the Council.  Proof of Mr Wallace’s earnings was received and they were much higher than those previously declared.

As a result of failing to declare the true household income, Nicola Wallace was overpaid Housing Benefit amounting to £2,025.15 and Council Tax Benefit of £295.23 over a period between September 2010 and November 2013. She also received a discount on her Council Tax bill of £383.17 for the period April 2013 to January 2014.

At court, Mrs Wallace pleaded guilty to all three offences which resulted in her obtaining Housing & Council Tax Benefit to which she was not entitled. Mrs Wallace was ordered to pay a fine together with a victim surcharge of £20 and a contribution to the Council’s costs of £50. 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