Benefits cheat made to pay

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A resident from Sherburn in Elmet has pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming £7,868.66 in benefits from Selby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Kelly Hunter, 30, of Eversley Avenue, has been sentenced to a 12-month Community Order for 250 hours of unpaid work and has to pay costs to the Council of £300 after being charged with eight offences of benefit fraud (two counts of failing to declare change in circumstances and six counts of false representations) relating to housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support at Selby Magistrates Court on Tuesday, January 3.

A joint investigation by the Enforcement Team at Selby District Council and investigators from the Department for Work and Pensions found evidence that Kelly Hunter failed to notify both Selby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that she was maintaining a common household with her partner at her home in Eversley Avenue, and had been since January 2005.

Hunter was interviewed under caution at Selby District Council offices in respect of the offences which resulted in overpayments of Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support.

The money is being recovered directly from her.

A spokesman for Selby District Council said that if anyone suspects benefit fraud in the area they can contact the authority anonymously by phoning 01757 292230.