Husband and Wife Jailed For Benefit Fraud

A couple that had taken £150,000 in falsified benefits have been jailed for three years.

Maurice and Lindy Sumner were sentenced on at Wood Green Crown Court after pleading guilty to offences of fraud by false misrepresentation and dishonest representation.

An investigation was launched in 2009 by officers from the Met’s Fraud Squad after information was passed to them after an internal audit at Enfield Council which identified discrepancies around working hours.

Mrs Sumner had been working at the council as an out-of-hours homecare manager on a part time basis, whilst working full time for a housing association/group in Willesden.

However, the internal audit flagged up that Mrs Sumner had not been working her contracted hours.

During the investigation it was established that Sumner and her husband had been claiming housing benefit for a property in Enfield. Further inquiries revealed the property had been issued to them as temporary accommodation after they had claimed to be homeless.

Inquiries were subsequently made with Haringey Borough Council because the address provided by Mrs Sumner in her job application was within their borough. It was established the Sumners’ were also Housing Association tenants at an address within Haringey - which they were sub-letting.

Mr and Mrs Sumner defrauded the London Boroughs of Enfield and Haringey by failing to declare their income and furnished false information for assessing their entitlement for council tax and housing benefit. In total they gained in excess of £120,000 in benefits.

Lindy Sumner also defrauded HMRC out of more than £32,000 of tax credits.

Detective Inspector Tim Dowdeswell, of the Met’s Fraud Squad, said: “This investigation highlights the effectiveness of partnership working in cases of this nature. Lindy and Maurice Sumner abused the benefits system to the tune of £150,000 and believed they had got away with their deception.

"The commitment and determination shown by both the Enfield Investigation Team and the Fraud Squad should send out a clear message to benefit cheats who engage in criminality that they will be caught.”


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

22 October 2012
Escalation In Working Families Relying On Housing Benefit
Since the recession began in 2008 the number of working households relying on housing benefit has doubled, according to a new report.
30 October 2006
Campaign to crack down on benefit cheats launched
The government has launched a campaign which aims to crack down on benefit cheats. The 'No Ifs, No Buts' campaign stresses the message that there are no excuses for committing benefit fraud. It is estimated that almost £1 billion was lost last year through benefit fraud, compared to £2 billion in 2001.
12 August 2013
Final Round Of Benefit Caps Begins
The final round of benefit caps that have seen benefit claims restricted to £500 a week for couples and those with children and £350 for single people is to come into effect today, in those council areas affected by the scheme.
18 March 2014
Working Parents To Benefit From Childcare Allowance
A major new childcare package to help millions of parents has been unveiled by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister today. The measures will help parents to go out to work if they want to and provide more security for their families, while directing extra support to those children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
10 May 2006
Consultants contracts 'do not benefit benefit patients'
New NHS contracts for senior hospital doctors in England have provided little benefit to patients, a new report has claimed. According to the King's Fund report, the new consultant contract, which was implemented in 2003, cost £90 million more to implement than was originally planned.