Two women have been hauled before the courts by Ealing Council for committing benefit fraud.
Izabella Jarosz, 36, of Leamington Road, Southall, appeared before Isleworth Crown Court on Friday, 23 July. She admitted that over a six month period between 2008 and 2009 she fraudulently claimed £6,600 in housing benefit for a property in Ealing which she no longer lived in.
Jarosz was already repaying the money she owed at a rate of £300 per month. The court handed down a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered her to pay the council’s costs of £1,366 within 21 months.
In a separate case Donna Akinola, 24, of Cumberland Park, Acton, appeared before Ealing Magistrates court on Thursday, 22 July. Akinola applied for benefits, but failed to declare that she was a student at Middlesex University, in receipt of a student loan and grant as well as not declaring the bank account that the loan and grant were paid into.
Her offences were uncovered after the council took part in the National Fraud Iniative which compares records held by other organisations. The match identified that Akinola was in receipt of Housing Benefit in Ealing from June 2008 but was already in receipt of the undeclared loan and grant from December 2006, which continued to 2010.
Akinola pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to fraudulently claiming around £10,000 in housing benefits between June 2008 and February 2010. She was given a Community Order requiring her to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work within the next 12-months and ordered to pay £200 towards the council’s costs.
Cabinet member for Finance and Performance, Councillor Yvonne Johnson, said: “People who fraudulently claim benefits are stealing from us all. We always seek to prosecute benefits cheats and I hope the fact that we do bring people before the courts will help discourage other people from committing fraud.”
Anyone who suspects a fraud is being committed should contact the council’s 24-hour fraud hotline on 0800 328 6453. Callers do not have to leave their name.