City Council clamp down on benefit cheats
A MOTHER and her son have been sentenced after they pleaded guilty to cheating the benefit system.
Zarda Begum, 71, and her son, Zulficar Ali, 38, from Edgbaston pleaded guilty to falsely claiming more than £22,000 in housing benefit over a nine year period.
Birmingham Crown Court was told Begum made false housing benefit claims for a property in Twyning Road, Edgbaston. She failed to declare that her landlord was in fact her son and over a nine year period she received £22,938 in Housing Benefit to which she was not entitled.
She pleaded guilty to two offences while her son pleaded guilty to three offences under the Social Security Administration Act.
Begum was given a 3 month prison sentence suspended for 2 years and her son was given a 6 month prison sentence suspended for 2 years.
Costs of £1500 were also awarded to Birmingham City Council and the overpaid benefit had been repaid in full prior to sentencing.
Jim Wilkinson, Assistant Director for Audit and Risk Management said the council would continue to squeeze out benefit cheats.
He said: “Benefit fraudsters can be cautioned, fined or even sent to prison. In all cases the money has to be paid back and in some cases property is confiscated. “Birmingham City Council has taken successful legal action against 318 fraudsters since April this year”.