Fraudster will also serve 250 hours of a community penalty

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A benefits cheat from Ashford will face 250 hours of community service work after claiming more than £10,500 that he will also be forced to pay back.

Nicholas Adams, 44, of Rectory Barn, High Halden, Ashford pleaded guilty on April 16 to two charges of Housing Benefit Fraud

Adams failed to declare that his landlady was his mother and was resident at the same address.

The court heard how the fraudster made two false statements, the first on July 1, 2009, followed by another on August 14, 2012, where he failed to disclose that he was related to the owner of the property he was renting, and that the owner was his mother.

When applying for benefit there is a question on the application form that asks “Are you, your partner or your children related to the owner of the property, or their partner?”

Benefit regulations do not permit the payment of housing benefit to an individual while they are renting from a close relative and living in the same household.

On the application forms completed by Mr Adams he wrote “no” when answering this key question. However, during the investigation his birth certificate and Land Registry documents were obtained and both confirmed that the owner of the property, his landlady, was his mother.

Magistrates sentenced Adams to a 12-month community order during which he will have to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £300 towards costs. Mr Adams must also repay the £10,500 in addition to the sentencing.

Cllr Neil Shorter, Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for resource management, said: “This is another example of how seriously the council takes benefit fraud.

“We work hard to ensure that everyone who is entitled to benefit has the help and support they need but equally we will investigate and prosecute those who are claiming fraudulently. This is a good result and we are pleased with the severity of the sentence and hope that it will act as a deterrent to others.”

If you think someone is receiving housing benefit or council tax support that they are not entitled to please call us in confidence on 0800 026 2456 or email



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