Chiswick Woman Pleads Guilty To Benefit Fraud
Ealing Council prosecutes several people for fraudulent claims
A Chiswick woman was amongst a number of people prosecuted by Ealing Council after almost £170,000 was found to have been fraudulently claimed in benefits.
Helen Cottle, 39, of Cunnington Street, Chiswick, pleaded guilty at Feltham Magistrates’ Court to fraudulently claiming income support and housing and council tax benefit of £7,543 between 8 July 2002 and 31 December 2003.
On 7 August last she received a two year suspended jail sentence and was ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to Ealing Council.
The defendants appeared in the dock for making fraudulent claims of council tax and housing benefit, ranging from £3,411 up to £39,485.
Cllr David Scott, cabinet member for finance and performance, said: “These prosecutions should be a warning to anyone committing fraud that we take this extremely seriously and we will catch up with you. These crooks have not only swindled the council, they have swindled all the hard-working, honest residents of the borough. "
The cases have all been heard in the last three months. They include:
• Roberto Maddalena, 62, of Lexden Road, Acton, pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court
• Donald Irvine, 23, of Dunline House, Gurnell Grove, Ealing, was found guilty at Ealing
• Evelyn Whitehead, 58, of Webb Place, Park Royal, pleaded guilty at West London
• Maria Ireland, 50, of Boston Road, Hanwell, pleaded guilty at Acton Magistrates’ Court on 13 July to fraudulently claiming housing benefit of £10,075 between March 2003 and December 2004. She continued to claim housing benefit from an address in Boston Road even after she had vacated it. She obtained the help of Heidi MacKay (see below) to produce false letters about her tenancy and rent. She is due to be sentenced later this week.
• Heidi MacKay, 36, of Glenfield Road, Ealing, pleaded guilty at Acton Magistrates’ Court
• Merill De Jong, 66, of Willow Road, Ealing, pleaded guilty at Acton Magistrates’ Court on 13 July to fraudulently claiming housing benefit and council tax of £25,652 between February 1996 and July 2005. He failed to declare his private pension that he started to receive in 1994. He is due to be sentenced later this week.
• Ayad Al-Hadithy, 35, of Alfred Road, Acton, pleaded guilty at Acton Magistrates’ Court on 25 May to fraudulently claiming housing benefit of £3,971 between April 2004 and February 2005. He was conditionally discharged for two years and ordered to pay £3,971 compensation and £670.87 costs.
• Rita Salhotra, 36, of Harp Road, Hanwell, pleaded guilty at Acton Magistrates’ Court on 27 April of fraudulently claiming housing and council tax benefits of £7,766 between 2002 and 2005. She was conditionally discharged for six months and ordered to pay £241.50 costs. She failed to declare she was a student receiving an NHS Bursary when claiming the benefits.
• Saleem Khan, 46, of Radcot Avenue, West Ealing, pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court
February 19, 2020