Friday, 16 July 2010


A Margate woman has been prosecuted for benefit fraud, after falsifying payslips for her partner.
Beverly Rhodes (26) of Lamberhurst Way and her partner had been in receipt of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, based on being on a low income.

Her partner was working for J.D. Wetherspoon and four pay slips regarding her partner were provided for her claim, which were later found to be false, after Investigation Officers took part in the council's Clean Sweep operation.
As part of Clean Sweep, which visits different parts of Thanet to tackle a range of anti-social issues, officers visited employers in Margate, getting details of employees. When checking the employee details from J.D. Wetherspoon, they did not match wage slips that the council held for Miss Rhodes’ partner. The wage slips that had been provided to the council showed lower amounts of earnings, compared to the details that J.D. Wetherspoon provided. Further investigations into the payslips were carried out and J.D. Wetherspoon confirmed they were not their wage slips.
In interviews, under caution with Miss Rhodes, she denied making up false pay slips and said she could not explain where they came from. She refused to comment on any questions put to her in her second interview under caution. As a result of the false documents, overpayments of £1,136.28 for Housing Benefit and £357.79 for Council Tax Benefit were made.

When she appeared at Margate Magistrates Court, Miss Rhodes pleaded guilty to four charges and was sentenced to a six month community order of 60 hours unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay costs of £150, to be paid at £10 per week.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “This case was very much one that was clearly pre-meditated. In cases where benefit fraud is obviously pre-meditated, the council will always use the full extent of the law to prosecute such offences. The idea of falsifying payslips is a deliberate effort to defraud the public and one more reason why the council’s Operation Clean Sweep is proving so valuable, as it brought this issue to our officers’ attention and presented us with the evidence we needed to make this prosecution.”

If your circumstances change and you are claiming benefits, you need to inform the benefits section of the changes as soon as they happen. Benefit fraud can also be reported by calling the council’s hotline 01843 577369.

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