Kilburn woman jailed for �100k benefit scam

Cheat was working and playing the property game while claiming poverty

A benefit cheat who raked in nearly �100,000 of taxpayers’ money while buying and selling on the property market has been jailed.

Veronica Ruby Pinnock of Dunster Gardens, Kilburn, claimed Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefit, Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance, while profiting from her properties and working full-time as a reservation consultant.

Harrow Crown Court heard the 57-year-old approached Brent Council for help in 2002 claiming she was a homeless single mother, when she actually co-owned a house in Southend-on-Sea with her former partner which they had bought for �87,000 the year before.

She was placed in temporary accommodation during which time she sold the property for �122,000, and bought a flat in Old Church Lane, Kingsbury for �160,000 using her married name of Brown.

She was housed permanently in Buckingham Road, Harlesden, where she continued to live while renting out her property for �175 a week.

She sold it for a �42,000 profit in March last year.

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While claiming she was jobless she was earning up to �15,000 a year between 2003 and 2008.

She pocketed �99,579.43 in benefits she was not entitled to between November 2003 and May 2009.

Last week she was jailed for 18 months after being convicted of ten counts of failing to declare changes in her circumstances and making false statements concerning ownership of property and rental income.

Simon Lane, Brent Council’s head of audit and investigations, said: “Ms Pinnock’s fraudulent activity was brought to the attention of investigators as a result of the vigilance of officers in the Homeless Resource Centre.

“We invited her for interview but she failed to co-operate, refusing to attend.

“Brent Council does not tolerate benefit or any other kind of fraud and is constantly working to catch those trying to cheat the system.”

Pinnock faces having her assets striped at a confiscation hearing which will take place on October 20.