Benefits cheat funded homes in Paris and London by stealing 58,000 from French and British governments

Daily Mail 7 November 2012
By Katy Dartford

A dole cheat claimed more than L13,000 for a Notting Hill flat while receiving a further L45,000 in benefits for a home in Paris, a court heard today. Raja Aboutarik, 56, helped herself to L9,548 in housing benefit and L3,504 in council tax benefit between May 2006 and May last year.

Moroccan-born Aboutarik was also receiving around L800 a month from the French government, West London Magistrates’ Court was told.

She ‘clearly and deliberately’ provided false information in order to increase her living standards, said prosecutor Roger Hodkinson.

‘It was clear that some of it was money other than for expenses on the property,’ he told the court.

‘Ms Aboutarik was from 1999 receiving state benefits in France, and in fact Ms Aboutarik was arrested on suspicion of benefit fraud in August 2011.’

She raked in just over L58,000 from during the five-year swindle.

It only came to an end when she was forced to admit she lived in her Paris home when the French authorities launched an investigation.

Kensington and Chelsea Council - who footed the benefit bill in the UK - say they do not know who was living at the west London flat.

The cheat, who claims she has alcohol problems and cannot work because her arm is paralysed from being dropped as a child, is currently repaying the London council at the rate of just L20 a week.

The court was told she has limited means to pay any other costs and also has memory problems after being attacked in Morocco.

She also suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.

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