Curfew for woman in £22,000 benefits scam

A WOMAN who fraudulently claimed benefits totalling nearly £22,000 has been convicted of benefit fraud.

Janet Milewski (55) of Stokewell Road, Wath, was given a six-month curfew order and ordered to pay £500 costs after failing to declare a change in circumstances to Rotherham Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The council's Fraud Investigation Unit received a referral from the Audit Commission's National Fraud Initiative which indicated that there was a possibility that Milewski had a partner living with her at Stokewell Road.

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Further checks revealed that no partner had been declared by Milewski when claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit and income support.  

Milewski was formally interviewed and admitted that her partner was living with her and had been for a number of years.

She also stated that she knew that she should have informed the both the council's benefits section and the DWP.

Milewski said she had not done so for financial reasons and admitted that in withholding this fact she had been dishonest in her actions.

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Deputy District Judge for Rotherham, Mr Richard Wright, imposed a six-month order covering the hours between 7pm and 7am. 

He told Milewski during a hearing at Rotherham Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday that she was lucky not to receive a custodial sentence.