Stevenage Borough Council issues warning to benefit fraudsters


- Credit: Archant

A warning has been issued to fraudsters after two people were forced to pay back thousands of pounds after illegitimate benefit claims.

Amanda Pennie, of Canterbury Way in Stevenage, claimed £5,596 in illegitimate child benefit payments between November 2011 and April 2013.

The 49-year-old has now been ordered to pay back the money, as well as contribute £550 towards prosecution costs and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

During the hearing at Stevenage Magistrates Court’, Pennie was also sentenced to 80 hours of unpaid work.

In another case at the court, Kevin Steel claimed £2,493 in Jobseekers’ Allowance between July and August last year.

In the same period the 54-year-old also claimed £242 in council tax support and £167 in council tax benefit.

Steel, of Harrow Court, was ordered to pay back the money and contribute £550 towards prosecution costs and a £15 surcharge.

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Councillor Joan Lloyd, executive member for resources at Stevenage Borough Council, said: “It is vital that our residents notify us if their situation changes. As this investigation shows, we will not tolerate abuse of the benefits system and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those who make fraudulent claims.

“It is a criminal offence not to notify us if your circumstances change so don’t be tempted to keep it quiet – it simply isn’t worth it.”

For more information on council tax support and advice on entitlement, contact the council’s support team on 01438 242242 or visit