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Benefit cheats appear in court for sentencing

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: May 03, 2013

Four benefit cheats in Cornwall have been sentenced

Four benefit cheats in Cornwall who falsely claimed more than £24,000 all faced court this week as part of council crackdown.

The four, who all committed council tax or housing benefit fraud, were given sentences which ranged from community orders to a two-year conditional discharge.

All were ordered to pay towards Cornwall Council's legal and investigation costs.

The biggest fraud was that of Robert Foster, 49, of Hawkins Way, Helston, who wrongly claimed £12,471 in housing and council tax benefit.

The 49-year-old was given a 12-month community order of 120-hours unpaid work after he pleaded guilty to not informing the council he was in paid employment.

Tania Pope, 37, of High Lanes, Hayle, pleaded guilty to two counts of benefit fraud and was also given a 12-month community, with 80 hours of unpaid work.

Carl Thomas of Murdoch Close, Redruth, pleaded guilty to not informing the council he was in receipt of increased earnings.

The 44-year-old received an 18-month conditional discharge for benefit fraud totalling £1,035.

James Berriman, 35, of Long Rock, received a two-year conditional discharge at Truro Magistrates Court for fraud totalling £4,644.

All overpaid benefits are being recovered in separate actions.

To report suspected fraud, call 0800 7316125.

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