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Married woman claimed she was single to plunder benefits

A married woman who claimed benefits she was not entitled to by telling Lambeth Council she was a widow and a single parent has narrowly escaped prison.

Dorothy Olaniyi married in 2001, but failed to declare it when making benefit claims.

It meant she got more than £23,000 to which she was not entitled. She was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and told to do 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Mohammed Khan, Lambeth Council’s divisional director of internal audit and counter fraud, said: “People who claim benefit that they are not entitled to deprive those who are. They also reduce our ability to deliver front-line services because they are illegally taking money from the public purse. We thank the court for its tough line and hope it serves as a deterrent to others.”

Ms Olaniyi, 43, of Treherne Court, Myatt Fields Estate, was sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on 16 April for failing to declare her marriage.

She pleaded guilty to three charges, one of failing to declare a change in circumstances and two of dishonestly producing a false document.

She was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years. In addition she was given a community order for two years with an unpaid work requirement of 250 hours.

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