Nurse Found Guilty Of Benefit Fraud
A benefit cheat from Denham has been brought before the courts after fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds worth of benefits she was not entitled to.
Action by South Bucks District Council’s anti-fraud team saw 53 year old Sylvia Maphela from North Orbital Rd, Denham, plead guilty to four counts of benefit fraud at High Wycombe Magistrates Court on Tuesday 1st November 2011. The Magistrates imposed a 6 weeks Custodial Sentence suspended for 12 months together with a residence requirement; she will also have to pay £950 towards the Councils costs.
Now the Council is urging neighbours to blow the whistle on anyone else they suspect of fiddling benefits.
Miss Maphela first came to the Council’s attention through the National Fraud Initiative – a data matching exercise which identifies discrepancies in benefit claims. It identified that Miss Maphela was working as a full time senior staff nurse whilst claiming and receiving housing and council tax benefit. The investigation subsequently uncovered she had in fact been working for the same NHS Trust throughout the whole period of her claim earning up to £40,000 per year which was paid into a bank account not revealed to the council.
The only earnings declared on her benefit claim form was the income from part time work that she had undertaken whilst working for an agency, and her claim was paid on this basis, however the investigation discovered this was in fact a second job. As a result of this Miss Maphela had falsely claimed a total of £7141.75 in housing and council tax benefit. This amount will also have to be repaid to the Council.
South Bucks District Councillor Julian Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Resources said “Housing benefit and council tax benefit are public funds and South Bucks has a responsibility to both safeguard these funds and ensure the right people get the benefit to which they are entitled. We will not tolerate fraudulent claims and will use every technique available to us to detect and prosecute fraudsters.”
He continued “If you suspect anyone of committing benefit fraud, you can contact the council anonymously on 01494 732210 or by completing an on-line referral form via the fraud page on our website: www.southbucks.gov.uk or by emailing email@example.com.”
For more information please contact
South Bucks District Council,
Denham, Bucks. UB9 4LH
Tel: 01895 837200