A Wellingborough woman has been ordered to wear an electronic tag and obey a curfew for six months after fraudulently claiming nearly £15,000 in benefits.
Charlotte Rawle, 28, of Ashfield Road, was claiming income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit when her partner moved into her house. She didn’t declare the move and Wellingborough Council launched a joint investigation with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) after information was received that her partner, who had a full-time job, was living with her.
The investigation discovered that her partner had moved into the Ashfield Road property in March 2010 and Miss Rawle was interviewed under caution at Wellingborough Council’s offices. She was later charged to appear at Wellingborough Magistrates Court.
Rawles pleaded guilty to two offences – one of failing to notify the change of circumstances with her partner to obtain income support, and one of failing to notify the change of circumstances with her partner to obtain housing and council tax benefit. She appeared in court on Monday, November 26, where she was sentenced to observe a six month curfew between 8pm and 7am which would be electronically monitored. She was also ordered to pay £200 costs.
Cllr Paul Bell, leader of Wellingborough Council, said: “We take benefit fraud extremely seriously. Our track record at investigating and uncovering fraud is excellent and we work very hard to catch the people who commit it. Benefit fraud puts an extra burden on the taxpayer at a time when honest people are really feeling the pinch and it’s simply not acceptable. We will do everything we can to put a stop to it and I hope that this prosecution, along with all our other prosecutions, will be a warning to people who think they can get away with cheating the system.
Rawle had fraudulently claimed £6,327.71 income support, £6,861.33 housing benefit, and £1,267.43 council tax benefit, making a total overpayment of £14,456.47. Wellingborough Council will pursue full recovery of the overpayment.