A social worker who fraudulently claimed more than £90,000 in income support and housing benefits has been jailed for eight months.
Maxine Wilson, 42, of Cricklewood, north west London, began legitimately claiming housing and council tax benefits in 1997 when Hammersmith and Fulham Council granted her three years’ unpaid leave to study a degree.
But Wilson continued to claim the benefits for a further eight years after returning to work at the council, with an increased salary, in June 2000.
At the same time she began working part-time for British Airways by taking paid sick leave from the council and using her annual holiday entitlement, adding £6,000 to her annual income of £32,000.
In total, Wilson, a mother of four children, was overpaid £96,870 in income support, housing and council tax benefits by the London Borough of Brent, where she lived, between June 2000 and February 2009.
She pleaded guilty to benefit fraud at Harrow Crown Court on 8 June and received an eight-month jail sentence. Brent Council said that in addition to three other children, she will be leaving behind a new-born baby, who was three weeks old at the time of sentencing.
Simon Lane, head of audit and investigations at Brent Council, said: “No one is exempt from our investigations.
“No matter how long it takes for us to find benefit fraudsters you can be assured that the council will do everything in its power to seek them out.
“Anyone who is in receipt of benefits is regularly reminded to notify the council when there is a change of circumstances and is urged to do so.”
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