Council Throws Book at Law Student

Tania Cabuzel pleads guilty to fraudulent benefit claims

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A law student has been found guilty of falsely claiming benefits she was not entitled to.  

Tania Cabuzel, 40, of Ramsey Road pleaded guilty to three counts of false representation and failing to disclose information at Isleworth Crown Court on Tuesday August 17th.

She admitted to fraudulently claiming £11,428.32 in Housing Benefit and £1,287.73 in Council Tax Benefit over a three-year period from January 2006 to January 2009.

Ms Cabuzel, who was studying law at Thames Valley University, failed to declare her status as a full-time student over a three-year period while claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

She also failed to declare supplementary income from student loans and grants that she received during that time. Ms Cabuzel, who also goes under the name of Tania Camara, was sentenced on Friday September 17th to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, concurrent for each offence.

She was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, also concurrent for each offence.

Ealing Council is also recovering the money that she claimed fraudulently. We asked for further details about how much money is being repaid each month and their spokesman told us: "
"The money is being recovered at source from Ms Cabuzel's ongoing benefit entitlement at a rate of £33.73 per week. The amount that can be recovered is set by central government, and this varies on a case by case basis, depending on the rate of benefit paid and the amount of additional income earned."

Our calculations show that paying the money back at the above rate would mean the fraudulently obtained benefits will be repaid by 2018.

Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for Finance and Performance, said: “Ms Cabuzel knew that she was not entitled to the benefits she was claiming and lied to our investigators when interviewed under caution. 

“What makes this case even more shocking is that she was a law student at the time of the fraud and would not only be able to tell the difference between right and wrong, but would also know the consequences of her actions. 

“The council takes benefit fraud very seriously and we will always investigate those suspected of cheating.” 

Ealing Council has successfully prosecuted 18 people for benefit fraud this year. Two of these were joint prosecutions with the Department of Work and Pensions.


September 22, 2010