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Benefit cheat escapes jail for £11,000 scam

PUBLISHED: 12:09 17 August 2015 | UPDATED: 12:09 17 August 2015

Bromley Civic Centre

Bromley Civic Centre

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Mandy Collins wrongly claimed council tax benefit for more than eight years

A woman who defrauded Bromley taxpayers out of more than £11,000 in benefits she was not entitled to has escaped jail.

Mandy Collins falsely claimed £11,397 in council tax benefit over more than eight years until last December, as well as £599 in jobseekers’ allowance and employment and support allowance.

She had failed to tell the council about several bank accounts that she had, and about the fact that three other adults were living with her.

Collins, 52, of Hazelmere Road, Orpington, admitted two charges of benefit fraud at Bromley Magistrates’ Court.

She was given a two-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 200 hours’ community service. She will also have to pay the money back, as well as costs and court charges of £655.

Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of Bromley’s audit committee, said: “We must all report any suspected fraudulent activity so we can bring these cheats to justice. That money is meant for the needy of this borough.”

Anyone with information about suspected benefit fraud should call the confidential fraud hotline on 0800 169 6975 or email audit@bromley.gov.uk.

You can also download the council’s anti-fraud app: visit www.bromley.gov.uk/fraud.

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