A Gillingham woman has been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds after an investigation by Medway Council found she fraudulently applied for council housing when she already had another home.
Regina George, 56, of James Street, Gillingham, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday, 16 April after previously pleading guilty to dishonestly failing to disclose information she was under a legal duty to disclose in respect of a housing application and dishonestly making a false representation in relation to a Right to Buy application.
A Medway Council investigation revealed that George failed to declare that she already had a home in London when she applied to the council for housing. At a later date she then applied to purchase the property under the Right to Buy scheme but failed to declare that the dwelling was not her only home.
His Honour Judge Joy sentenced George to 12 months imprisonment suspended for two years. She was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation sessions. George was also ordered to pay £600 towards to prosecution costs and a victim surcharge.
‘We take a zero tolerance approach to fraud’
Cllr Rupert Turpin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business Management, said: “We take a zero tolerance approach to fraud and anyone found to be making false claims will be prosecuted. Acts such as this affect people who are truly in need. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage residents to contact us if they know of anyone acting fraudulently against the council.”
To report fraud against the council residents are encouraged to call the Audit and Counter Fraud Team on 01634 332389 between 9am and 5pm or visit www.medway.gov.uk/reportfraud