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Duo Appear in Court Following joint Investigation

Published: 24th November 2009 22:42

Investigations carried out between Gosport Borough Council and the Department for Work Pensions (DWP) have resulted in  Mrs Paula Jinman (40) formerly of White Lion Walk, Gosport and Tracey Howitt (26) formerly of Hanbidge Crescent, Gosport appearing at Fareham Magistrates Court.

Jinman pleaded guilty to 3 offences under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 in that she dishonestly failed to promptly notify the Council and the DWP that she was working. Jinman was sentenced to 60 hours community service.

Continuing to claim benefit to which she was not entitled, resulted in Jinman receiving an overpayment of over £4,000 in Income Support and Housing and Council Tax Benefit which must be paid back in full to both the Council and the DWP.

As a result of the second investigation, Tracey Howitt attended Court and pleaded guilty to 2 offences under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 in that she dishonestly failed to disclose that she was working. Howitt was sentenced to 40 hours community service and ordered to pay £50 towards costs.

Continuing to claim benefit to which she was not entitled resulted in Howitt receiving an overpayment of over £4,000 in Income Support and Housing and Council Tax Benefit which must be paid back in full to both the Council and the DWP.

Commenting on their most recent success Julian Bowcher, Financial Services Manager for Gosport Borough Council said: "We have been working closely with the Department for Work & Pensions to put a stop to Benefit Fraud and have already achieved some success."

"We will of course continue to crack down on offenders and it is very much as the television adverts say, IT'S NOT A CASE OF IF WE CATCH YOU - BUT WHEN"

The Benefit Investigation Hotline Tel: (023) 92 545 545. All information received will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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