Benefit cheat gran Theresa Aldous from Kenley must use £19k inheritance as repayment
1:30pm Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
A grandmother jailed after falsely claiming nearly £30,000 in benefits has been told to hand over £19,000 inheritance as part of the repayment.
Theresa Aldous of Godstone Road, Kenley, was jailed for six months in April after it was found she lied to the authorities to claim widow's benefit, despite remarrying.
Aldous, who was also known as Theresa Martin, told further lies to claim housing benefit on a council house where she no longer lives.
The 62-year-old failed to tell the council she had moved out and was sub-letting the property, effectively rent-free to her daughter.
When her husband died she failed to disclose the £19,000 inheritance in her benefits application.
Following her conviction, an investigation was carried out into her finances under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
It found Aldous had given the inheritance money to her family, despite being told she owed Croydon Council and the DWP benefits she had falsely claimed.
Last Friday, Judge Ruth Dowling at Croydon Crown Court issued a confiscation order.
She must pay back the £19,000 by March 21 2013, or she will return to prison for nine months.
Councillor Dudley Mead, deputy leader of the council said: "This case should serve as a clear warning Croydon Council will always prosecute benefit cheats and seek to recover money or assets.
"This is to protect decent taxpayers from having to pay more."