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Benefit cheat must hand back cash

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: Bolton Crown Court Bolton Crown Court

A BENEFIT cheat has been ordered to pay almost £45,000 back - or face 15 months behind bars.

Tanveer Rashid, aged 44, of Albert Avenue, Prestwich, received housing benefit payments from Bury Council over eight years in respect of his mother.

He claimed she was the sole occupant of the Albert Avenue house and that he, who owned the house, lived with his sister in Crumpsall.

Investigators suspected Rashid, an electrician, lived with his mother when they checked records.

They found that he had given Albert Avenue as his home address on more than 20 credit applications, and also for his driving licence, car insurance and employment records.

Last July, Rashid appeared at Bolton Crown Court and admitted fraudulently claiming £35,076 in housing benefits.

He was given a suspended jail term and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.

Financial investigators then looked into Rashid's accounts, leading to a proceeds of crime hearing at the same court on Friday.

Rashid was ordered to repay £44,929.49 within six months and would be jailed for 15 months if not.

He would still be required to pay the cash back on his release, should that happen.

Rashid must also pay £6,274 court costs to the council.

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