Suspended sentence for St Albans benefits cheat

A BENEFITS fraudster who illegally gained more than �9,000 has been given an eight-week suspended prison sentence.

Cesur Sahin, 46, of White Hedge Drive, St Albans, was prosecuted by St Albans district council for failing to declare his wife was working as a cleaner, which meant he was overpaid housing and council tax benefit.

He appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Friday (November 23) where he pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to declare a change of circumstances, and three counts of making false representations by not telling the council his wife’s income.

Between June 26, 2006, and February 13, 2011, Mr Sahin illegally claimed �8,061 in housing benefit and �1,134 in council tax benefit, which he has been ordered to repay.

He must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work and pay �250 in costs to the council.

Councillor Brian Ellis, portfolio holder for housing at the council, said: “The council is committed to investigating cases of benefit fraud and we seek to prosecute people involved in this activity. This course of action helps to recover public funds and provides a deterrent to others against committing similar crimes.”