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Sutton landlord busted for £60,000 benefit fraud 22.1.10

A Sutton benefit cheat who fraudulently claimed almost £60,000 whilst renting out rooms in her home is to be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court today (22nd January).

Forty-seven-year-old Lynne Hampson of Langley Avenue, Worcester Park pleaded guilty to benefit fraud offences at a prior hearing on 26 October 2009.

Ms Hampson falsely claimed income support and council tax benefit for her property in Langley Avenue over a period of five years despite making a considerable amount of money as a private landlord.

Following a tip-off from a disgruntled ex-tenant Sutton Council's fraud investigation team worked with the Department for Work and Pensions to gather evidence and bring the case to court.

Hampson could be forced to sell her home to cover the repayment costs and a custodial sentence could be issued by the court due to the severity of the offense.

When applying for benefits Hampson declared earnings of around £20 a week from renting out rooms in her four-bedroom detached house. However, sub-tenants and boarders actually paid £480 - £540 a month per room, and she was able to use the profits to pay for a loft conversion to extend her empire by a further three bedrooms and increase her long term profits.

Cllr John Drage, Executive Member for Resources on Sutton Council, said: "With the rise in unemployment in the borough following the recession it becomes all the more important that we ensure Ms Hampson repays the full amount promptly so that the money can be used for those in genuine need.

"I would like to thank our fraud investigation team for working hard on this case, and many others, to see that such criminals can be brought to justice."

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: Monday, 12 April 2010

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