Stevenage Woman Convicted of Six Counts of Benefit Fraud

09 Mar 2020

A woman from Stevenage has been successfully prosecuted and ordered to pay a fine after pleading guilty of failing to Inform Stevenage Borough Council of a change of income.

On 4 March 2020 at Stevenage Magistrates Court, Kim Newman from the St Nicholas area of Stevenage pleaded guilty to six counts under section 111A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and Regulation 8 of the Council Tax Reduction Schemes Regulations 2013.
 
The Court heard how Ms Newman had applied in 2014 for Housing Benefit and a reduction of her Council Tax. In 2018 it was discovered that Ms Newman had failed to declare changes of income in respect of her salary and had also failed to declare any income for her adult children. Both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction are means tested and Ms Newman was under a duty to inform the council of the changes in household income. As a result Ms Newman received an overpayment of over £7,500.
 
Ms Newman pleaded guilty at the first opportunity for which she received credit from the bench and was sentenced to a Community Order of 12 months to complete 90 hours unpaid work and to pay prosecution costs of £85.00 and the Victim Surcharge of £85.00.
 
The Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service and Stevenage Borough Council worked jointly with the Department of Work and Pensions to investigate the allegations and bring this successful prosecution.
 
You can report suspected fraud against Stevenage Borough Council in the strictest confidence. For more information, and to report your concerns, visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/spotfraud, email fraud.team@hertfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 123 4033.