Statcounter

5 Apr 2018

Immigrant was benefit fraudster

A kitchen porter who claimed thousands of pounds in benefits told officials “if you don’t catch me, I’ll keep doing it”, a court heard.

Idajet Zenga, 61, claimed for employment and support allowance while working at Fellini’s, in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough.

The Albanian father-of-two failed to tell the DWP that he had worked at the Italian eatery for a number of years.

Zenga, who appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court unrepresented, pleaded guilty to four counts of benefit fraud.

Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, said: “In December 2014, the defendant made an application for Jobseeker’s Allowance on the basis that he was not in work. However information came to light that he had in fact been employed as a kitchen porter since June 2008.”

The court heard that the total overpayment made to Zenga between December 2012 and November 2016 was £7,084.60.

“When he was asked why he failed to declare his work to the department he said ‘if you don’t catch me, I’ll keep doing it’,” Ms Dalton told the court.

A probation report revealed that Zenga was born in Albania and had moved to the UK in 2000 to seek asylum with his family.

The court heard how lives with his wife and their two children, aged 29 and 16, and that plans were in place for him to repay the money he received.

Chair of the bench, Martin Slimmings, told the defendant: “There are four offences of benefit fraud before us today totally a little over £7,000. In the scheme of things, that fraud is towards the bottom end of the scale. Given your previous good character and your guilty plea, we have decided this offence does not pass the custody threshold and you will not be going to prison today."

Zenga, of Regent Road, Middlesbrough, was given a 12-month community order with 150 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £170 in costs.

Source with picture

No comments: