Woman ordered to repay all overpaid benefits

A ST LEONARDS woman has been found guilty of falsely claiming £3,000 of benefits while she was working as a carer.

Naima Mepese, 47, of Taylor Close, was found guilty of falsely claiming £3,323.13 of Income Support and Housing and Council Tax benefit at Hastings Magistrates Court last month. She failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions and Hastings Borough Council that she had been working as a carer since November 2012. Mapese was sentenced at the same court on June 17. She was handed eight weeks imprisonment suspended for one year, given a six-month supervision order and ordered to repay all the overpaid benefits. Tracy Hobden, council spokeswoman, said: “Any change in circumstances and income must be reported to us as soon as possible. Do it before you get caught and end up in court facing a fine or worse. Don’t get a criminal record for dishonesty. This case was a joint prosecution between the council and the Department for Work and Pensions. If you suspect somebody is committing benefit fraud, you can report this anonymously by calling our investigation hotline on 01424 451082.”