Acton benefits fraudster to pay back money

Ealing Council secures successful prosecution against local woman

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Zivana Bosnjakovic of Michelle Court, Acton was sentenced to a 180-hour community punishment order at Isleworth Crown Court today for cheating Ealing Council out of nearly £12,000 in housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Ealing Council was awarded £10,199.88 in compensation and full costs of £637 which the court has ordered Ms Bosnjakovic to repay at a rate of £300 per month. The defendant has already paid back the council tax in full and has paid £1200 towards the housing benefit.

Ms Bosnjakovic, 34, claimed nearly £12,000 in benefits that she was not entitled to between November 2002 and November 2003 and failed to declare she was a homeowner. At the time she was renting out her property at Vardon Close, Acton, from which she earned £650 per month.

As a result of an investigation by Ealing Council’s new Audit & Investigation Team the fraud was uncovered and Ms Bosnjakovic pleaded guilty to the charges at Acton Magistrates Court on April 15th. The case was then committed to Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing.

Stephen Lawes Executive Director at Ealing Council said: “Some people say that fraud is a victimless crime but anyone who defrauds the council is taking money away from those who most need it, and hitting the pockets of all our council taxpayers. I am extremely pleased that the hard work of our Audit and Investigation team and Legal team culminated in this successful prosecution.”

May 28, 2004