A SOUTH Normanton woman has admitted fraudulently claiming more than £83,000 worth of benefits she was not entitled to over a nine-year period.
A suspended prison sentence hangs over Jean Necek (53), of Field View, after she failed to declare she had been living with a full-time employed partner from May 2003.
Necek continued to claim Housing and Council Tax Benefit and Income Support after this date as a single person.
She was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court on 24th May following an investigation by Bolsover District Council and The Department for Work and Pensions.
Judge Andrew Hamilton handed Necek an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years, which includes a Supervision Order.
The judge said Necek had been thoroughly dishonest and had not admitted her guilt during earlier court appearances.
He said Necek had known she was guilty and had been trying to get away with it for the last six years. The judge also said she was very fortunate he did not send her straight to prison.
After the hearing, Bolsover District Council’s cabinet member for corporate resources, Coun Duncan McGregor, said, “This is our largest ever case. Investigations such as these take a great deal of time and effort and work behind the scenes and we must congratulate the officers involved for all their hard work.
“It is a staggering amount of money, money that was not rightfully hers and is intended for those in need in our society.
“Although we got a successful outcome and Ms Necek has been punished for her actions, we would have preferred a much sterner sentence that would have then sent a strong message to others that we are on the lookout for those who break the law and we will take action.”
The conviction was based on a reduced amount of just under £65,000 but the departments are still seeking the recovery of the full amount.
If you know of anyone who is committing benefit fraud, contact the council on 01246 242444 or email email@example.com.
You can also call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.