Benefits cheat funded homes in Paris and London by stealing £58,000 from French and British governments
Raja Aboutarik, 56, had been falsely claiming since 1999 in France and since 2006 in UK
Currently repaying the government at just £20 per week
The cheat has claimed she cannot work due to health problems
PUBLISHED: 18:33, 5 November 2012 |
A dole cheat claimed more than £13,000 for a Notting Hill flat while receiving a further £45,000 in benefits for a home in Paris, a court heard today.
Raja Aboutarik, 56, helped herself to £9,548 in housing benefit and £3,504 in council tax benefit between May 2006 and May last year.
Moroccan-born Aboutarik was also receiving around £800 a month from the French government, West London Magistrates’ Court was told.
She ‘clearly and deliberately’ provided false information in order to increase her living standards, said prosecutor Roger Hodkinson.
‘It was clear that some of it was money other than for expenses on the property,’ he told the court.
‘Ms Aboutarik was from 1999 receiving state benefits in France, and in fact Ms Aboutarik was arrested on suspicion of benefit fraud in August 2011.’
She raked in just over £58,000 from during the five-year swindle.
It only came to an end when she was forced to admit she lived in her Paris home when the French authorities launched an investigation.
Kensington and Chelsea Council – who footed the benefit bill in the UK – say they do not know who was living at the west London flat.
The cheat, who claims she has alcohol problems and cannot work because her arm is paralysed from being dropped as a child, is currently repaying the London council at the rate of just £20 a week.
She also suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.
District Judge James Henderson handed her an eight-week prison term, suspended for a year.
He told her: ‘This went on over a long period of time and you benefited to the extent of some £13,000, and so it seems to me I must give you a prison sentence.’
He said Aboutarik would not have to pay court costs because of her limited means but placed her under nightly curfew for the next three months.
Aboutarik, of Notting Hill, west London, admitted three charges of falsely making a statement to obtain a benefit.