Benefit cheat must pay back money

A SALISBURY woman has been given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay back more than £2,000 in overpaid benefits after being found guilty of benefit fraud.

Paula Cantillon, of Fairfield Road, failed to inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Wiltshire Council and HMRC that her partner had moved in with her and that they were living as husband and wife.

Salisbury Magistrates heard last Tuesday that Cantillon was overpaid housing benefit, council tax benefit, widowed parent’s allowance and working tax credit of £2,304 in total.

The 44-year-old will now have to repay these debts in full.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “This is the first time HMRC tax credits have been included in a joint prosecution in Wiltshire and shows the work the council and DWP are doing towards the government’s vision to tackle fraud together.

“Wiltshire Council is very keen to stamp out benefit fraud and will take action against those found to be cheating the system.”

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