Warning to benefit cheats after West Bromwich woman is jailed
Published on 12th October 2012
The leader of Sandwell Council has warned benefit cheats they will be caught and punished - after a West Bromwich fraudster was jailed for more than two years.
Rashpal Kaur, of Europa Avenue, falsely claimed benefits while paying for at least one of her children to attend private school, a court heard.
She also sent money to a company that specialised in property in Dubai and had investments in properties in the south of England.
She was found guilty of 22 offences after raking in more than £30,000 in benefits she was not entitled to.
She had previous experience of the benefits system, having worked in a benefit office, a court heard.
His Honour Judge Michael Dudley said it was the most comprehensive case of fraud he had come across during his time at the bar or at the bench.
He added: "This type of offending affects every single member of the public."
Last Friday (October 5) she was jailed for a total of 32 months after a 12-day trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Sandwell Council's Benefit Investigation Team found more than £270,000 had gone through her bank accounts while she was claiming housing benefit and carer's allowance.
She failed to declare all of her financial accounts, the people who lived with her and the fact her landlord was her father.
The council will now take legal action to get back the money she falsely claimed.
Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Darren Cooper, said: "Benefits are there to help people who are in genuine need.
"Rashpal Kaur defrauded the council and council tax-payers by claiming she was a single mother who was entitled to benefits - when in reality she was a wealthy individual who enjoyed a privileged lifestyle and sent at least one of her children to private school.
"Our benefits investigation team did a great job in bringing her to court. We will now be starting legal proceedings to get back the money that she falsely claimed.
"In Sandwell we will investigate and take action against people who claim benefits they are not entitled to."
Kaur was convicted of offences including money laundering and perverting the course of justice by approaching a prosecution witness and getting them to change their statement, as well as supplying false information.
She received £24,567.09 in housing benefit and £2,712.90 in carer's allowance she was not entitled to over six years.
Kaur had claimed in court the council had given her special dispensation not to supply the correct information on her benefit application forms in order to protect her family from harassment.
She was sentenced to 20 months for benefit fraud offences in respect of her own claims, four months for the offences of other individuals and eight months for perverting the course of justice, to be served consecutively.
Anyone who suspects someone of claiming benefits they are not entitled to can report their concerns by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the council's fraud hotline on 0121 569 2650.