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Benefits cheat told to pay £200,000 following release from prison for housing and council tax fraud

Carina Reid must cough up the money within three months or she'll be sent back to jail

A fraudster jailed after claiming she was so poor she had to accept free food and drink from a nearby mosque when she was in fact the owner of successful and lucrative business has been told to pay back nearly £210,000.

Kensington and Chelsea Council successfully obtained a Confiscation Order for £207,309.22 against Carina Reid at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday (September 21).

It follows her conviction last year for nine charges of fraud by false representation, which resulted in her receiving over £51,000 in housing and council tax benefit illegally.

Reid, from King's Road, Chelsea , was jailed for three years in May 2016 and has since been released from prison.

The court was told she had assets of £261,522, including a share of the King’s Road flat and more than £200,000 cash sent to Dubai.

She has three months to pay the full amount of the confiscation order, or else face a further three-year prison sentence, and six months to pay off additional costs of £14,000.

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council said: “We have spent over a year working to secure this excellent result. Carina Reid stole money from the public purse to live a lavish lifestyle, with no regard to those in genuine need of help and support.

'We will take action whenever we discover fraud'

“We are committed to helping all residents that need support, but we will take action whenever we discover fraud.”

Reid had been sentenced after admitting to charges at the same court last year.

A judge was told how she first claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit from the Royal borough in 2009, stating she earned an extremely low income from Enhance, her beauty business.

She also claimed to have no savings, little money for food and said she had taken no holidays between 2009 and 2014.

Reid lived the high life, enjoying drinks in Harrods, while claiming benefits(Image: Getty Images)

But an investigation into her circumstances by the Anti-Fraud Service revealed the information provided by Reid to the council’s benefit service had not been accurate.

Reid’s Facebook profile revealed that while claiming benefits, she had taken holidays in Hong Kong, Dubai, Spain, Portugal, France and Switzerland.

Her profile also showed her sipping champagne in Harrods and dining at other top establishments including Scotts, the Dorchester Hotel and the Berkeley Hotel.

Reid’s King’s Road flat was purchased with a deposit of £20,000, a mortgage she was able to get after showing Enhance was a thriving business.

Isleworth Crown Court

A further financial investigation conducted by the council revealed that a total of £116,000 was sent abroad by Reid in 2013-2014 to acquire property in Dubai.

Another check on her LinkedIn profile indicated her desire to expand the Enhance business empire to Dubai and Los Angeles.

Eight of the charges related to Reid’s failure to declare savings of £180,000 in 19 separate bank accounts.

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