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Council house fraudster ordered to pay £40,000 court bill

By Megan Archer | Dudley | Crime | Published:

A woman who narrowly avoided jail after falsely gaining a council house has been ordered to pay costs of almost £40,000.

Dudley Council

Annet Nemah Umuzia Cox failed to disclose her status as a homeowner when applying for council housing with Dudley Council.

She pleaded guilty to housing fraud in December, when she was sentenced to six months custody, suspended for 12 months.

Dudley Council have since taken further court action, and bosses are ordering Cox to pay a confiscation order for £39,883.30 – with £34,407.50 to be paid as compensation to the council.

Cox provided a false housing application to gain access to a Dudley Council property, which the council made specific adaptations amounting to £29,439.70.

The council also paid the rent, £2,078.37, and council tax, £399.84, at the property whilst it was being adapted due to it taking some time to undertake the adaptations.

When Cox moved into the property, her owned property was then rented out privately creating an income of £5,240.

Had she declared her correct circumstances, Cox would not have been eligible for a Dudley Council tenancy.

Alan Lunt, deputy chief executive and strategic director for place, said: "Housing fraud is a very serious matter and those who are tempted to try and cheat the system should be reminded that we will investigate and pursue thoroughly all instances of wrongdoing.

"Our priority is rightly focused upon those who are most deserving and we will continue to help those who are most in need of council housing."

Failure for Cox to pay could result in imprisonment. She is no longer a council tenant.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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