Woman in court over benefit claims
Wednesday 12 September 2012
A Coventry woman who falsely claimed more than £25,000 in housing benefit has been given a Community Order.
Yasmine Begum, aged 35, of Cross Road, Coventry, appeared before Coventry Magistrates' Court on Monday 10 September.
She faced two charges of dishonestly making false statements contrary to the Social Security Administration Act 1992, by failing to declare that she jointly owned an apartment in Rathbone Court, Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry, with her landlord and that her landlord was the father of her child.
She also faced two charges of dishonestly allowing false information to be produced contrary to the Social Security Administration Act 1992, by allowing false tenancy agreements to be produced knowing they were false.
The court heard that between 25 June 2007 and 15 August 2011, she was overpaid a total of £25,028.11 in Housing Benefit.
Magistrates heard that Yasmine Begum, who has a five-year-old child, lived at the apartment in Rathbone Court and received £92 Housing Benefit per week.
She filled in benefit forms stating that neither she nor her child were related to the landlord and provided tenancy agreements confirming the rent was £650 per month.
But Coventry City Council received information that the property was being repossessed and was in the name of landlord Mr Surinder Singh Dahri and Yasmine Begum. A Land Registry search confirmed the property was jointly owned by the pair and a birth certificate was obtained that showed Mr Dahri was the child's father.
Yasmine Begum was interviewed under caution and admitted that she jointly owned the property with her ex-partner. She said their relationship had ended while she was pregnant and she had resorted to putting in a false claim when she found out that she would not get any financial help with her share of the mortgage.
She stated that she had paid her share of the mortgage with her Housing Benefit payments into her ex-partner's bank account and that he was unaware that she had provided false information.
She was sentenced to a Community Order with a supervision requirement for 12 months and 30 days' engagement with the Women's Programme. She will also have to refund the overpayment.