Woman wrongly claimed benefits worth £41,000

A 28-YEAR-OLD has admitted dishonestly obtaining more than £41,000 of benefits.

Ifeoma Uwaesue, of Heather Close, pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly making false statements in order to obtain benefits at Eastbourne Magistrates Court this week.

Uwaesue claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support totalling £41,440.67, but was found to have entered the country on a student visa.

Holders of a student visa do not have any entitlement to benefits of this type.

Magistrates passed the case to Lewes Crown Court for sentencing and confirmed that Uwaesue will be required to repay all the money falsely claimed.

The case was prosecuted jointly by Eastbourne Borough Council and the Department for Work & Pensions.

Councillor Margaret Bannister, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Revenues and Benefits, said, “This case sends out the strongest possible message that Eastbourne Borough Council will investigate and prosecute anyone found making false claims for benefits.

“Our close working relationship with the Department for Work & Pensions is contributing significantly to major breakthroughs in cases of this nature.”

Members of the public who wish to report fraud can leave information on the Benefit Fraud Hotline by calling 0800 7317039 – this is staffed by investigations officers during office hours and an answering service at other times.

Alternatively, people can visit www.eastbourne.gov.uk/benefitfraud for more details.