A Wellingborough couple has been prosecuted after fraudulently claiming £15,000 in benefits.
Agnieszka Roguszka, 31, of Palk Road, Wellingborough, stated she had separated from her husband and was living as a single parent when she claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and council tax reduction support.
An investigation by the borough council discovered that she had reconciled with her husband Sebastian Roguszka and the couple were living together again.
Mr and Mrs Roguszka were both interviewed under caution by fraud investigators and both were later charged to appear at Northampton Magistrates Court.
Agnieszka Roguszka pleaded guilty to three offences with a view to obtaining benefit – one of dishonestly failing to promptly notify a change of circumstances and two of dishonestly furnishing housing benefit and council tax benefit claim forms.
Sebastian Roguszka pleaded guilty to two offences of allowing housing and council tax benefit claim forms to be furnished.
On Monday 17 November, Mr and Mrs Roguszka both appeared in court where they were given community orders to undertake unpaid work. Agnieszka Roguszka was ordered to carry out 280 hours and Sebastian Roguszka was ordered to carry out 80 hours. Both were also told to pay costs of £300 and victim surcharges of £60 each.
Wellingborough Council leader Cllr Paul Bell said: “It is very important that we are notified immediately of changes in circumstances, such as a partner moving in, as it can affect benefit entitlements. Benefit fraud costs the taxpayer a lot of money, and it’s simply not acceptable that a small number of people think they can get away with cheating the system. We have an excellent track record of uncovering benefit fraud and we will continue to prosecute those who commit it.”
Agnieszka Roguszka had fraudulently claimed £13,515.94 housing benefit, £976.36 council tax benefit and £506.48 council tax reduction support.
The total loss to public funds was £14,998.77.
Wellingborough Council is pursuing full recovery of the overpayments.