Benefits cheat told to repay almost £12,000
ABENEFITS cheat who falsely claimed almost £12,000 has been ordered to repay the entire amount.
Sylvia Hatchard, 64, told authorities she was a single woman on a low income while claiming £11,763.30 in housing benefit, council tax benefit and pension credit.
But fraud detectives from Cheshire East Council found that she was actually living with her husband who helped support the household financially.
Hatchard, of Kendal Road, Macclesfield, will now have to repay all the money after admitting two charges of dishonestly making false claims after appearing at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, October 2.
Magistrates also imposed a three-month curfew on Hatchard between the hours of 7pm and 7am and ordered her to pay £695 in prosecution costs.
Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “By claiming benefits they are not entitled to, fraud- sters take money away from people who really need help.
“The message is clear: Cheshire East Council will track them down, prosecute them and ensure they do not profit from their crimes.”
Residents can report people they suspect of benefit fraud by calling free on the confidential fraud hotline number 0800 389 2787.
There is no need to give a name and calls are treated in the strictest confidence.
Alternatively, suspected fraud can be reported through the council’s website at cheshireeast.gov. uk.