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Couple claimed £28,000 in fraudulent benefits

Tuesday, 1st November 2011.

A Haverhill couple who claimed over £28,000 in benefits fraudulently have been sentenced to community orders and supervision orders and will have to pay back the money.

Lee Martin, 37, and Christine Martin, 33, of Garlands Close, were charged with dishonestly failing to give prompt notification in the prescribed manner to the prescribed persons about a change in circumstances affecting her entitlement to a benefit, under the provision of social security legislation.

The couplehad pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court today.

Christine Martin received a 12-month community order and a 12-month supervision order. She must also do 150 hours unpaid work and pay £150 costs.

Lee Martin received a 12-month community order, a 12-month supervision order and must do 240 hours unpaid work. He must also pay £150 costs.

The court heard that in 2006 the Martins claimed income support from Job Centre Plus and housing and council tax benefits from Breckland Council, while they were living in Thetford.

In April 2007 Martin started work at ID Technology Group PLC but neither Job Centre Plus nor Breckland Council were informed.

In May 2008 the Martins submitted a claim for housing and council tax benefits to St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

In August 2008 Lee Martin began working for Culina Logistics Ltd. In September 2009 Christine Martin was employed by Tesco. Neither the Job Centre Plus nor St Edmundsbury Borough Council were informed about Mr and Mrs Martinís work.

In July 2010 the Martins were interviewed by benefit fraud investigators and admitted failing to declare their work. Both Mr and Mrs Martin stated that they did not notify their jobs because they were in debt, desperate for money and worried about losing benefit.

The overpayments were:
St Edmundsbury Borough Council - £5,441.56 housing benefit and £1,709.42 council tax benefit.
Breckland District Council - £4,382.65 housing benefit and £1,045.67 council tax benefit.
Income support - £16,244.83.
Total combined overpayment - £28,824.13.

Haverhill Online News

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