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Monday 15 June 2015

Benefit cheats face big bills after frauds are uncovered


Two fraudsters will each have to pay back about £10,000 after they were caught claiming benefits they were not entitled to.

Sylvanie Samba, 30, admitted failing to report a significant increase in her earnings between April 2010 and January 2015, which led to her wrongly receiving £9,070 from Cheshire East Council.

At South and East Cheshire Magistrates’ Court (on June 5), Samba, of Hammond Street, Crewe, received a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £600 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

In an unrelated case at the same court (on the same day), Hayley Potts, 36, admitted fraudulently obtaining £10,527 in housing benefit and Council Tax support by failing to declare that her partner was living with her and supporting her financially.

Potts, of Stone Chair Lane, Scholar Green, near Alsager, was fined £460 with £600 costs and a £46 victim surcharge.

Both women will have to repay in full all the benefits that they fraudulently received.

The prosecutions were brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Councillor Les Gilbert, Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet member for communities, said: “We are an enforcing council and we are determined to stop fraudsters from helping themselves to money that belongs to law-abiding members of the public.

“The defendants in these cases thought they could get away with claiming benefits they were not entitled to, but they were making a big mistake.

“They have ended up with criminal convictions for a serious offence of dishonesty and now face a big bill to repay the money they have falsely claimed.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards benefit fraud because we are determined to ensure that the benefits system works for people who really need help.”

Residents can report people they suspect of benefit fraud by calling free on the confidential fraud hotline number 0800 389 2787. There is no need to give a name and calls are treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, suspected fraud can be reported through the Council’s website at

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