Brentford Benefit Fraudster Tagged
Claimed almost £100,000 fraudulently
A Brentford woman who falsely claimed almost £95,000 in benefits has been tagged for four months, given a 13 and a half month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and ordered to complete 35 days community service.
Catriona McDonagh, of Hope Close, Brentford, claimed £46,232 in housing benefit, £9,118 in council tax benefit and £38,709 in income support from the council and Department for Work and Pensions between March 2002 and February 2011, whilst failing to declare she was living with her partner, Thomas D’Arcy.
The council was alerted to the fraud by an anonymous tip off from a member of the public, who claimed McDonagh was living with Mr D’Arcy who was working full time – making her ineligible for benefits payments.
The council carried out an investigation which found McDonagh was living with D’Arcy, and his work records named her as his partner.
Cllr Ed Mayne, cabinet member for community safety and regulatory services at the council, said:
“If your circumstances change, you must declare it to the authorities to make sure you are not receiving any benefits to which you aren’t entitled. I am pleased the courts sent a strong message that claiming money you are not entitled to will not go unpunished.
McDonagh was sentenced on Thursday, 21 November at Isleworth Crown Court.
To report suspected benefits cheats, contact the council’s fraud team at Fraud@hounslow.gov.uk, or call our fraud hotline on 020 8583 2111.