A benefits cheat has been ordered to do 200 hours community service after claiming thousands of pounds in benefits.

Albert Mashindi, 38, of Thornton Road, Carshalton, has been ordered to do 200 hours community service and pay costs of £85 after claiming overpayments of £16,256.55 housing benefit and £2,300.68 in council tax benefit.

He was sentenced at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court on December 28, 2012, after pleading guilty to two offences of failing to notify a change in circumstance which he knew would affect his entitlement to housing and council tax benefit.

The court heard Mr Mashindi failed to tell the London Borough of Sutton that his earnings for the NHS had increased and that his wife had undertaken undeclared work for two separate companies which resulted in a housing benefit overpayment of £16,256.55 and a council tax benefit overpayment of £2,300.68.

The overpayments took place between 2008 to 2011.

Magistrates gave Mr Mashindi credit for an early guilty plea and ordered him to complete his 200-hour community punishment within 12 months. 

The London Borough of Sutton will be seeking full recovery of the overpayment from Mr Mashindi.

Councillor Richard Clifton, Sutton Council’s Lead Member for Revenues and Benefits, said: “Benefit fraud is a crime against all taxpayers. Our team works very hard to ensure fraudsters are caught and benefits are only paid to those who deserve them.”

If you think someone is claiming housing and council tax benefit they are not entitled to, call the council’s Investigation Team on 020 8770 5687 or visit sutton.gov.uk.

Alternatively call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 328 6340 or Textphone on 0800 328 6341.