Men sentenced over benefits fraud totalling more than £20,000

obby 12/9 crawley borough council logo
obby 12/9 crawley borough council logo

Two men who falsely claimed benefits totalling more than £20,000 have been sentenced.

Kai Jerbo, formerly of Kilnmead, Northgate, was convicted of failing to promptly notify Crawley Borough Council of a change in his circumstances, which he knew would affect his entitlement to housing benefit, at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on August 20.

A council spokesman said Jerbo did not declare his student status and receipt of student loans and grants.

This resulted in a housing benefit overpayment of £14,949.

He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order, 150 hours’ unpaid work, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Neil Hadaway, of The Twitten, West Green, was convicted of dishonestly failing to promptly notify Crawley Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of a change in his circumstances which he knew would affect his housing benefit, council tax benefit and pension credit entitlement at Hove Crown Court on July 25.

Hadaway did not tell the council or DWP that he was living with his partner, which resulted in an overpayment of benefits totalling £6,645.

He has been sentenced to three months’ suspended prison sentence for 12 months without conditions and an £80 victim surcharge.

The overpayments in housing benefit and council tax benefit are to be paid back to the council.

A council spokesman said arrangements were being made to recover the money.

Council leader Cllr Peter Lamb said: “The council takes false benefit claims very seriously. Social security can only exist when it is based on genuine need.

“We are committed to detecting and prosecuting people who commit benefit fraud. Any claimant whose circumstances change should contact us immediately.”

Anyone who thinks they know someone who is claiming benefits fraudulently can call the council free and in confidence 24 hours a day on 0800 634 0180 or email {mailto: ||email}.