Benefit fraudsters avoid jailBy Laura Herbert
January 31, 2013
Two benefit fraudsters have avoided a jail sentence after wrongly claiming thousands of pounds of taxpayer money.
Melanie Cleeve, 47, falsely claimed she was not working and claimed £14,257.58 in benefits from Wokingham Borough Council.
Cleeve, of Fairlawn Green in Shinfield, admitted three counts of benefit fraud a Reading Magistrates Court on Monday, January 14.
She was given a 12-month community order and must complete 200 hours’ unpaid work.
Javad Khan, 40, defrauded the council over benefit claimed by his parents between 2006 and 2009. He admitted completing forms which failed to declare the property his parents were claiming benefit for was owned by him.
His parents signed the documents he completed which were false declarations.
This meant he was overpaid £33,274.40 in benefitsby Wokingham Borough Council.
Khan, of Grovelands Road in Spencers Wood, admitted five counts of benefit fraud at Reading Magistrates Court on Wednesday, January 2.
He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 140 hours’ unpaid work. Khan must also pay £1,500 court costs.
Muir Laurie, the council’s director of business assurance and democratic service, said: “We are always pleased when we get a successful outcome on behalf of the residents of Wokingham borough.
“Benefit fraud takes money away from vital services to our most vulnerable residents and we are committed to taking action to prevent fraud happening.”
Wokingham Borough Council will be recovering the overpayments to Khan and Cleeve.
If anyone has any concerns relating to benefit fraud, report them in confidence by calling the business assurance investigations hotline on 0800 454 240.