Brighton second home benefit cheat claimed £35k

Posted On 30 Mar 2010 at 6:55 pm

Two Brighton benefit cheats who conned tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money faced justice.

Phillipa Long, of London Terrace, Brighton, claimed more than £35,000 in housing, council tax and income benefits even though she part-owned a second home in Wales.

And Paul Weston, 49, of Pelham Terrace claimed housing, council tax, income and incapacity benefits while holding down a support job with the Sussex Beacon and the NHS.

Both appeared in court after an investigation by Brighton and Hove City Council’s fraud officers.

Councillor Ayas Fallon-Khan, the council’s cabinet member for central services, said of Long: “It is astonishing that someone with two homes should have the audacity to put in a benefit claim and dishonestly rip off the honest, hard-working tax payer to feed their greed.

And of Weston, he said: “Yet again we have a case of an employee stealing benefits from those who genuinely need them.”

Long was found guilty of failing to notify the council of a change in circumstances, and claiming £22,818 housing benefit, £2,117.82 council tax benefit and £10,364.44 income support.

She will be sentenced on April 29.

Weston, 49, admitted four charges of benefit fraud when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court on Monday (March 29.)

Magistrates imposed a 12 month community service order, to include 100 hours unpaid work. Weston was also ordered to pay £880 court costs.

A joint investigation by Brighton & Hove City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that Weston had fraudulently claimed a total of £1,180.36 job seekers allowance, £1,480.55 incapacity benefit, £10.68 income support, £5,059.16 housing benefit and £620.05 council tax benefit.

  1. ian killmister Reply

    Never mind the prison sentences .

    RECOVER the money !!!!!!

    prison is a let off !! trust me .

    If they get out AND automatically have an attachment to benefit/attachment to earnings order on them THEN monies will be recouped !

    If the system allows someone to defraud TWENTY Grand , and then ONE year in prison is the PAY BACK ( at a cost of 70k to the tax payer ) then the TOTAL value of the fraud is 90 Grand PLUS ALL the COURT , LAWYER , JUDGE etc etc etc fees .

    WHAT is the point in lining their pockets AND losing the money ????? When will punishments be relevant to the crime ?

    luv , lemme x

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