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Housing benefit cheat from Harrow given community service over £12,000 fraud
A benefits cheat who conned Harrow Council out of almost £12,000 has been ordered to repay the cash and carry out community service.
Peace Arize, 46, claimed housing and council tax benefits for a council house in Stafford Road, Harrow, despite not living at the property for a number of years.
She first moved there in 1998 but in 2005 had moved to Somerset Avenue, Luton, while continuing to claim for living allowances at the Harrow property.
Housing officers began to suspect Arize no longer permanently lived at the Harrow address and a subsequent investigation exposed her real circumstances.
Between February 2010 and March 2012, she had falsely claimed almost £10,000 in housing benefit and more than £2,000 in council tax benefit.
At Willesden Magistrates’ Court on August 27, Arize pleaded guilty to making false representations on her benefit form.
She was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £500 towards the prosecution costs.
She is also repaying the housing and council tax benefit overpayment.
Harrow Council leader Councillor Susan Hall said: "It is appalling to hear of cases such as this. It is highly unfair on residents who have legitimately fallen on hard times for others to defraud the system in this way.
“We want Harrow to take the lead in tackling this criminal behaviour."