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Sutton landlord busted for £60,000 benefit fraud 05.01.11

A landlord who raked in thousands of pounds by renting out bedrooms in her home with its own swimming pool, has been exposed as a benefits cheat.

Lynne Hampson

Lynne Hampson, of Worcester Park in south London cheated taxpayers out of more than £60,000 by falsely claiming income support and council tax benefit at the same time as renting out the rooms.

Some of the money made from her five-year scam paid for a loft conversion, changing her house in Langley Avenue into a seven bedroom property, which allowed her to rent to more tenants and increase her profits.

The 48-year-old was brought to justice after a tip-off from a disgruntled ex-tenant sparked a probe by investigators from Sutton Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

They revealed that although Hampson had declared earnings of just £20 a week from renting out the rooms, she actually made up to £540 a month per room.

Hampson pleaded guilty to two charges under the social security fraud act for failing to notify a relevant change of circumstance between 2001 and 2007.

She could now be jailed when she is sentenced by Croydon Crown Court on 21 January - and will be forced to sell her home to repay the money she swindled.

Cllr John Drage, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Finance and Efficiency, said: "Wrongfully deceiving the taxpayer out of such a large amount of money is a very serious matter, especially at a time when pressures on our budget are so great.

"We will push for the full amount to be repaid promptly so that the money can be used for those in genuine need."

A spokesman for Sutton Police station said: "We are keen to support our partners in any way we can to investigate these offences."

If you think someone is claiming housing and council tax benefit they are not entitled to, please call the investigation team, in confidence, on 020 8770 5687.

Alternatively call the national benefit fraud hotline on 0800 328 6340 or textphone on 0800 328 6341.

Last updated: Thursday, 20 January 2011

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