Hampton couple claim £30k in false benefits
By adam_leone | Wednesday, March 06, 2013, 21:49
A Hampton couple have been caught out after claiming 30k in false benefits, which involved creating multiple identities.
Along with officers from the Department of Work and Pensions, officers from Richmond Council's Audit and Investigation Team carried out an investigation into Ms Aliyah Choudhry.
The Mason Close resident claimed she was unemployed and single.
However, following an investigation, it was found that Ms Choudhry was married and has had two full time jobs since 2007.
As a result, Mrs Choudhry was overpaid £23,468.06 of Housing Benefit and £6,861.76 of Council Tax benefit.
During the investigation it was also discovered that Mrs Choudhry and her husband also had several false identities.
They used the identies to claim money.
At Court, Mr and Mrs Choudhry pleaded guilty to all charges. Both were issued custodial sentences. Mrs Choudhry was sentenced to 14 months, Mr Choudhry for 16 months.
Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Council's Deputy Leader, said: "It cannot have escaped anyone's notice that money is incredibly tight in local government at the moment."
"People like this who hijack the system to line their own pockets only deprive honest Council Tax payers who have paid their bills expecting the money to be spent on important services."