TWO benefits fraudsters, who between them conned authorities out of almost £50,000, have been successfully prosecuted.
An anonymous tip off from a member of the public alleged that Devinder Singh Matharu, of Crane Lodge Road, Hounslow, was working while also claiming benefits.
An investigation by the council and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found that Mr Matharu had an undeclared bank account with savings in excess of £130,000. The permitted limits for claiming income support and housing and council tax benefits are £16,000.
Mr Matharu was convicted last month at Feltham Magistrates' Court of defrauding both the DWP and the council of £33,669.05.
As well as having to repay the money, he was given a 12 month suspended sentence and will be electronically tagged with a three month curfew between 8pm to 7am.
In a separate case, Mrs Fowzia Osman, of Hounslow Road, Feltham, received a two year conditional discharge after claiming she lived alone with her five children to receive benefits she was not entitled to.
A joint investigation by the council and the DWP found that she was living with her husband, who worked full time, for eight months.
She pleaded not guilty to the fraud, but she was found guilty last month at Feltham Magistrates' Court of defrauding the council and the DWP of £13,521.76.
Mrs Osman was sentenced to two years conditional discharge and must repay the money she had been overpaid, as well as costs of £250.
Cllr Ed Mayne, cabinet member for community safety and regulatory services at the council, said: "These people committed these planned and deliberate acts to line their own pockets at the taxpayer’s expense.
"The fact we were alerted to Mr Matharu’s crime by a member of the public shows that people are sick of seeing people take advantage of a system meant to help those who need it the most.
"These cases should be a warning to others that we are determined to crack down on those who try to abuse the benefits system - we will find you, we will catch you and you will have to pay for your crime."