A BENEFITS cheat who carried on claiming housing benefit in Rugby despite moving to a new home in Bedworth has been ordered to wear an electronic tag for three months.
Debbie Adams was claiming housing benefit from Rugby Borough Council when she moved from her Holbrook Avenue home to Hill Street, Bedworth, in July 2013.
But the 52-year-old failed to tell the council she had moved and housing benefit was paid into her account every fortnight until September 2014.
Mrs Adams’ fraudulent claim – which totalled £7,225 – only came to light when new tenants started paying council tax at her former address.
When questioned by the council’s investigation officer, Adams said she believed Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council had informed Rugby Borough Council she had moved.
She added she was unaware the housing benefit had been paid into her bank account for more than a year after her move as she never checked her statements.
Adams pleaded guilty to failing to tell the council of a change in her circumstances at a hearing at Warwickshire Justice Centre, Nuneaton, on Monday 22 June.
Magistrates sentenced her to a six month community order – including three months under curfew wearing an electronic tag. She was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Adams has started to repay the fraudulently claimed benefit to the council.
After the hearing, Rugby Borough Council’s communities spokeswoman Coun Leigh Hunt said: “Benefit fraud costs the taxpayer a considerable amount of money and also impacts on those residents who genuinely need the support of the welfare system.
“I’d urge anyone with concerns about their benefit claim, or who is uncertain about how their circumstances affect their claim, to contact the council’s benefits team.”
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/benefitfraud or call (01788) 533433 to report suspected cases of benefit fraud.