Finance Student Guilty of Benefit Fraud
West Ealing woman caught cheating the system
A finance student from West Ealing has been found guilty of fraudulently obtaining more than £6,000 in benefits from Ealing Council.
Noora Mohammed, 24, of Sherwood Close, West Ealing, appeared before Ealing Magistrates Court last month, where she was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining £6,294.24 in housing and council tax benefits by failing to notify the council of a change in her circumstances.
Ms Mohammed was sentenced at Ealing Magistrates Court last Thursday (3 October), where she was given a community order requiring her to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay £200 towards the council’s costs.
The council’s audit team began investigating Ms Mohammed last year, after she declared she was studying full-time to get an exemption from paying council tax. The investigation revealed Ms Mohammed had intentionally failed to notify the council that she was a full-time student at University of West London between September 2010 and April 2012, and was fraudulently receiving council tax benefits and housing benefits she was not entitled to during this period.
Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for finance and performance, said: “This student blatantly disregarded the need to declare a change in her circumstances to the council, and only declared she was studying when it benefitted her the most. Benefit fraud is a serious offence, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute people who cheat the system.”
The council will seek to recover all money overpaid to Ms Mohammed.
Changes in circumstances which may impact housing benefits or your council tax payment must be reported to the council immediately. Information on how to notify the council of these changes is available on the Ealing Council website.
Anyone with information about suspected benefit fraud should call the council’s 24-hour fraud hotline on 0800 328 6453, where they can provide information anonymously. Alternatively, people can report fraud by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 11, 2013