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Benefits cheat was "saving to buy council house" 19.05.11

A benefits cheat who defrauded taxpayers out of thousands of pounds because she was "saving up to buy her council house" has been brought to justice.

Naomi Harris-White, 47, of Wendling Road, Sutton, pleaded guilty to six offences after falsely claiming nearly £16,000 in housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Investigators from Sutton Council were able to show that she had failed to declare the amount of money she earned through her job at St Helier Hospital and income earned by her partner.

The benefits money was being stored in a bank account, which she planned to use to buy her council house, Sutton magistrates were told.

Sutton Council was able to freeze her bank accounts under the Proceeds of Crime Act and force her to pay back the £16,000 before the offences came to court.

Magistrates subsequently ordered her to carry out 250 hours of community service to be completed within 12 weeks and pay £100 costs.

Cllr John Drage, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Finance and Efficiency at Sutton Council said: "We have a policy of zero tolerance on benefit fraud and we take all necessary steps to ensure that people who deliberately seek to defraud the taxpayer are uncovered and brought before the courts."

If you think someone is claiming benefits they are not entitled to, please call the investigation team, in confidence, on 020 8770 5687 or via the website

Last updated: Monday, 20 June 2011

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