Rochford benefit fraudster's appeal thrown out

Benefit fraudster's appeal thrown out

Benefit fraudster's appeal thrown out

First published in News by

A former lawyer has lost her appeal against a conviction for fraudulently claiming £13,000 in benefits whilst working.

Cilinnie Agyepong, 43, who previously worked as a lawyer in Ghana, had been found guilty in February for fraudulently claiming housing benefit and council tax by making a false statement and failing to notify changes in her circumstances.

From June 2012 to May 2013 she fraudulently claimed £12,204 in housing benefit and of £1,347 of council tax benefit while being a self-employed employment relations consultant. The total overpayment for the period was £13,551.

Agyepong, formerly of Crouch Meadow, Hullbridge, was sentenced at Basildon Magistrates Court to a 12-month community order and ordered to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work in the community.

She was also ordered to pay £10,000 in compensation, costs of £3,695 and a victim surcharge of £60.

The outstanding overpayment will also be recovered in full by Rochford Council.

But Agyepong lodged an appeal against the conviction and a hearing was held at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday. The judge decided not to uphold her appeal.

Cheryl Roe, Rochford Council’s portfolio holder for governance, said: “I am pleased with the judge’s decision as this sends out a very strong message that benefit fraud will not be tolerated. The benefits system is there to support people who genuinely need help, not for the small minority who think they can abuse the system.

“I want to reassure the public that where people do decide to commit benefit fraud, Rochford Council will do all it can to bring them to justice.”

If you suspect anyone of committing benefit fraud you can contact the Council's investigation team in the strictest confidence on 01702 318041 or by emailing fraud@rochford.gov.uk.

Comments (8)

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1:42pm Fri 8 Aug 14

sesibollox says...

Agyepong, formerly of Crouch Meadow, Hullbridge and now a proud tenant of Maggies Mobile Home club, is now looking for a pot to p1ss in.
Agyepong, formerly of Crouch Meadow, Hullbridge and now a proud tenant of Maggies Mobile Home club, is now looking for a pot to p1ss in. sesibollox
  • Score: 8

2:50pm Fri 8 Aug 14

GrumpyofLeigh says...

And the fine was increased to reflect the waste of public time and money in respect of the appeal? (which was on what grounds?)
And the fine was increased to reflect the waste of public time and money in respect of the appeal? (which was on what grounds?) GrumpyofLeigh
  • Score: 6

3:15pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Nebs says...

The real story will be if they actually recover any of the money.
The real story will be if they actually recover any of the money. Nebs
  • Score: 6

4:01pm Fri 8 Aug 14

supermadmax says...

Bit misleading and harsh really.

She was not a lawyer in the UK and was simply unemployed whilst doing a little cash in hand.

My main concern is how she can come over here from Ghana, with no job, claim benefits for so long and be given a council property despite many natives, who have paid into the system, waiting years on the housing list. This is a class case in favour of being anti immigration.
Bit misleading and harsh really. She was not a lawyer in the UK and was simply unemployed whilst doing a little cash in hand. My main concern is how she can come over here from Ghana, with no job, claim benefits for so long and be given a council property despite many natives, who have paid into the system, waiting years on the housing list. This is a class case in favour of being anti immigration. supermadmax
  • Score: 12

4:39pm Fri 8 Aug 14

John Bull 40 says...

A crooked solicitor, I don't believe it.
A crooked solicitor, I don't believe it. John Bull 40
  • Score: 7

5:08pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Sensible Man says...

So she was a lawyer in Ghana but came to the UK and claimed benefits. What??!!??? Why!!??!! Can someone explain??? All very strange.
So she was a lawyer in Ghana but came to the UK and claimed benefits. What??!!??? Why!!??!! Can someone explain??? All very strange. Sensible Man
  • Score: 8

5:58pm Fri 8 Aug 14

pembury53 says...

Sensible Man wrote:
So she was a lawyer in Ghana but came to the UK and claimed benefits. What??!!??? Why!!??!! Can someone explain??? All very strange.
not really that strange, it's happening on an epic scale, and many of the worlds free loaders favour the south east..... at the current rate of influx this area will go the way of london, i.e. the white indigenous population will become the minority.....
[quote][p][bold]Sensible Man[/bold] wrote: So she was a lawyer in Ghana but came to the UK and claimed benefits. What??!!??? Why!!??!! Can someone explain??? All very strange.[/p][/quote]not really that strange, it's happening on an epic scale, and many of the worlds free loaders favour the south east..... at the current rate of influx this area will go the way of london, i.e. the white indigenous population will become the minority..... pembury53
  • Score: 3

11:07pm Sat 9 Aug 14

RuleBritania says...

A crooked Lawyer?......Better Call Agyepong (Or Saul)
A crooked Lawyer?......Better Call Agyepong (Or Saul) RuleBritania
  • Score: 0

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