A West Kensington resident who fraudulently claimed more than £16,000 in benefits has been convicted following an investigation by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Isleworth Crown Court heard the council’s fraud team, which has prevented fraud worth up to £7million in the last year, was alerted to the fact that Senait Beedu, 29, lived with her partner, despite claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit as the sole occupant of her home in Charleville Road.
“We will not accept this happening in our borough. We always take a zero tolerance approach to benefit fraud and those who try and cheat the system will be dealt through the courts,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.
“I hope this conviction serves as a warning that we take these crimes seriously and will pursue the strongest possible action against those who attempt to defraud us.
“Luckily we have an excellent anti-fraud squad who have worked closely with the DWP’s investigation team to get this result.”
Ms Beedu was convicted on 9 November, following a five-day trial and was sentenced at the same court the following day.
The court heard her partner of 12 years, Semir Bekit, had been living at the same address and the pair had three children together.
Suspicions were raised when his name appeared on the birth certificate of their third child. Ms Beedu claimed Mr Bekit lived at various addresses, but searches only linked him to Charleville Road.
The court heard Mr Bekit had his mobile phone contract and bank account both registered to this address.
The court was told Ms Beedu had been paid £8,520 in housing benefit, £821.90 in council tax benefit and £8,118.39 in income support between 25 November 2011 and 17 June 2014.
Ms Beedu was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for one year, and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.