James Alves claimed benefits while renting out his house in Cheam
A benefit fraudster claimed more than £15,000, has been spared jail.
Cheam cheat James Alves, 40, did not tell the authorities he was renting out his house to a number of tenants who were paying him between £450 and £500 per month.
As a result, he was overpaid housing benefits of £5,326, council tax benefits of £1,604 and benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions of £8,222 - a total of £15,153.
The fraud came to light when it emerged an NHS employee was registered as living at Alves' house in Manor Road.
A police investigation showed other people had been registered at his address during the period of his claims and a check on his bank account revealed regular payments from tenants.
Alves was arrested admitted having three tenants at the property, all of whom were paying rent.
Appearin at Camberwell Green magistrates' court on March 13, District Judge Baldwin told Alves: "You embarked on a pre-meditated scheme to obtain benefit you were not entitled to."
He gave Alves credit for his early guilty plea and spared him jail, handing him a 16-week jail sentence suspended for one year and ordering him to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
Councillor Richard Clifton, Sutton Council's lead member for revenues and benefits, said: "Claiming benefits you are not entitled to is stealing from law-abiding taxpayers who work hard to pay their bills.
"Sutton’s fraud investigators work tirelessly to track down and prosecute cheats."
If you think someone is claiming housing and council tax benefit they are not entitled to, you can call the council’s investigation team on 020 8770 5687 or visit: sutton.gov.uk.