Published: Monday, 5th August 2019

A woman from Chatham has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work after admitting council tax fraud.

Shirelle Lewis of Village View, Chatham, lied about being a student from 2014 to 2018 and submitted fake documents to get a council tax discount. 

Following a Medway Council investigation the 31-year-old was repeatedly invited to an interview but failed to attend.

Lewis pleaded guilty to three counts of making false representation and three counts of submitting fake documents at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, 31 July. She was given a 12 month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work. Magistrates also ordered Lewis to pay a victim surcharge of £85 and costs of £500.

She must also pay £2,993.78 owed council tax.

'Fraud is a serious crime' 

Cllr Rupert Turpin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business Management, said: “We actively investigate fraud and anyone found to be falsely claiming council tax discounts will be prosecuted. Fraud is a serious crime and people should only claim what they are entitled to or risk facing criminal action. I would like to use this opportunity to encourage residents to continue to report suspected council tax fraud to us.”

To report council tax fraud residents are encouraged to call the council’s Audit and Counter Fraud Team between 9am and 5pm on 01634 332389.

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