Sussex

Sussex woman falsely claimed £65,000 in benefits

Diana Giustiniani
Image caption Ms Giustiniani falsely claimed almost £65,000 in benefits

A woman has been given a suspended jail sentence for falsely claiming almost £65,000 in benefits.

Diana Giustiniani, 46, of Larkfield Way, Brighton, was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for a year, at Hove Crown Court.

She pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to notify a change in circumstances at an earlier hearing.

Brighton and Hove City council said she received single parent benefits while she lived with her partner.

The court was told she claimed more than £40,000 in council benefits and almost £24,000 in income support.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Trevor Alford said: "This case is absolutely outrageous and represents a betrayal of all the efforts of the hard-working, honest people in the community.

"The game is up for individuals who continue to believe it is OK to deceive the council to falsely claim benefits, they should know they are living on borrowed time.

"We will track them down, because the money they have put in their own pockets belongs to council taxpayers and those that really need benefits in these difficult times."

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