Benefits cheat must repay over £9,000
A benefits cheat who falsely claimed more than £9,000 in benefits has been ordered to repay the money she stole.
Catherine Chantel Armitage, aged 26, of Manor House Close, Leyland, pleaded guilty to four offences when she appeared at Preston Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 29 November, 2012.
She admitted claiming £5,335 Housing Benefit, £1,034 Council Tax Benefit and £3,381 Job Seekers' Allowance that she was not entitled to.
She was sentenced to a four-month curfew order between 9pm and 6am, ending on 28 March 2013. She was also ordered to pay £85 court costs as well as repaying the fraudulently claimed cash.
Councillor Phil Hamman, South Ribble Borough Council's cabinet member with responsibility for shared services and corporate support, said: "While we're keen to ensure that everyone who is rightfully entitled to benefits knows how to claim them, this prosecution should serve as a warning that we treat benefit fraud very seriously and will leave no stone unturned to bring fraudsters to justice. We have a duty to protect the public purse and we will chase every last penny falsely claimed as that is money that could be spent on services for our law-abiding residents.
"However, if you think you may be eligible to receive housing benefit or council tax benefit you should call us for advice."
Call the council's free fraud hotline on: 0800 056 56 03. This service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Alternatively you can speak to one of our investigation officers on 01772 625254 between 9am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday. All calls are treated in strict confidence.
People who think they may be eligible to receive housing benefit or council tax benefit can call 01772 625518.
Last updated: 15 April 2013