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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Selby Couple Ordered To Pay £229,000 After Benefit Fraud

Selby Town Centre

6:35am 23rd January 2014

A couple from Selby have received Confiscations Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 following their convictions for benefit fraud offences on 21 September 2012.
    
On Thursday 16 January 2014 at York Crown Court, Mariola Kostrzewa of Dove Cottage, Wistow Road, Selby was issued a Confiscation Order to pay £166,831.54, or in default to serve 27 months imprisonment . At the same hearing, Janusz Kostrzewa, also of Dove Cottage, Wistow Road, Selby was issued a Confiscation Order to pay £62,826.36, or in default to serve 18 months imprisonment.

The fraud offences related to making false statements in order to obtain benefits from Selby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions dating back to 2003.

The original investigation commenced as a result of information received by the Department for Work and Pensions that Mr Janusz Kostrzewa and Mrs Mariola Kostrzewa of Dove Cottage, Wistow Road, Selby were living a lifestyle not conducive to persons claiming benefits.

The Enforcement Section of Selby District Council and the Fraud Investigation Service of the Department for Work and Pensions conducted an extensive joint investigation which identified evidence that Mariola Kostrzewa and Janusz Kostrzewa were running a business, The Iron Lady, and that this business and it's income had not been declared to either Selby District Council or the Department for Work and Pensions.

As a result of this, between 21/05/2003 and 12/03/2010, Mariola Kostrzewa and Janusz Kostrzewa received Council Tax Benefit to the value of £9,364.45 that they were not entitled to, and Income Support and Jobseeker Allowance totalling £62,933.88 that they were not entitled to. These overpaid benefits are being recovered directly from Mariola Kostrzewa and Janusz Kostrzewa.

Mariola Kostrzewa and Janusz Kostrzewa were prosecuted jointly by Selby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions, and on 21/09/2012 plead guilty to dishonestly making false statements to Selby District Council and The Department for Work and Pensions, contrary to Section 111A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992. On 12/11/2012, at York Crown Court, Mariola Kostrzewa was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years and ordered to complete 300 hours unpaid work and Janusz Kostrzewa was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years and ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work.

If anyone suspects benefit fraud in the Selby District Council area they can contact the authority anonymously by phoning 01757 292230.

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