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Benefits cheat caught after hotline tip off

Benefits cheat caught after hotline tip off

Simon Meechan

Benefits cheat caught after hotline tip off
Slough Magistrates' Court
A benefits cheat from Windsor who fraudulently claimed more than £8,000 has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Harriet Russell, of Westmead, was claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit and council support as a lone parent, despite living with her partner.

She received £8,145.76 in overpaid benefits claimed between September 2011 and April, but was caught following an anonymous tip off to the Royal Borough's Beat the Cheat hotline.

Russell pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly failing to give prompt notification of a change in circumstances.

She was sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for one year, at Slough Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old will have to pay the balance of the benefits back through the borough, as well as £5,000 compensation and £150 costs.

Cllr Simon Dudley, cabinet member for finance, said: "Benefit fraud is plain and simple theft from all the honest residents who pays their taxes.

"The person who advised us of this case can feel pleased that justice has been done."

Call the Beat the Cheat hotline on 0500 353300.

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