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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > August 2013 > Prison sentence for fraudster

Prison sentence for £20,000 benefit fraudster

A Bedford benefit thief who stole over £20,000 has been handed a 12 week suspended prison sentence and ordered to repay all of the money stolen.

 

Mrs Jaswinder Mann, 44, of Queen Street, formerly of Shakespeare Road, appeared at Bedford Magistrates Court on Wednesday 15th August and pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making false representations in order to obtain Housing and Council Tax Benefit, by failing to declare that she owned a second property and failed to disclose a number of bank accounts holding substantial funds.

 

The deception was uncovered during a joint investigation between investigators from Bedford Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions Fraud Investigation Service.

 

As a result of Jaswinder Mann’s dishonesty, from February 2009 to October 2011, she stole £5,130.41 in Jobseekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance and £20,358.41 in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from the public purse.

 

In sentencing, The Magistrates told Jaswinder Mann:

 

“The hard facts are this was a serious fraud committed over a long period of time with 11 counts against you. Based on these factors, you are sentenced to 12 weeks custody for each one of the 11 counts to run concurrently.” However due to Jaswinder Mann’s poor health the Court suspended the sentence for 12 months.

 

The Court also ordered Jaswinder Mann to pay £680 costs to the Council and £80 Victim Surcharge on top of the overpayment.

 

Councillor Shan Hunt, Executive Member for Revenue and Benefits, said: “Financial support is available to help those who genuinely need it and it is important that those people receive the full amount available to them.

 

“However, when people deceive the system and steal money from the public purse we will use all the powers available to us in order to stop this crime.

 

“The action taken by the Magistrates Court supports our decision to prosecute and I hope this serves as a warning to others who may be tempted to claim money they are not entitled to.”

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