Benefit cheat with over £50,000 in his bank account dishonestly claimed tens of thousands

A benefits cheat who had over £50,000 in his bank account after receiving money from an inheritance has been sentenced after illegally claiming more than £30,000.

Constantino Fenu, 63, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court after pleading guilty to seven counts of benefit fraud.

The court heard Fenu received benefits he was not entitled to including housing benefit, council tax benefit, and jobseekers’ allowance between 2009 and 2011.

Fenu failed to notify Cardiff Council and the Department for Work and Pensions that he had received inheritance which meant he was no longer eligible to receive benefits.

The fraud was uncovered by the Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Fenu is now paying £200 a month and has paid back almost £20,000 of the amount he claimed.

Sentencing, Judge Stephen Hopkins QC said: “You have by a cat’s whisker avoided an immediate custodial sentence.

“You knew the amount of inheritance you received would effect the amount of benefit you were entitled to.

“You are an intelligent man so don’t be so stupid in future.”

Fenu was sentenced to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.