A PAIR of benefits cheats who lived the high life in Spain have been ordered to pay back the £16,000 they fraudulently claimed.
Retired Michael and Sylvia Plumridge from Sonning, Wokingham, lived in a luxury apartment in Torrevieja, Alicante until they returned to the UK in 2010.
Upon their return, they claimed a range of UK benefits, including a council house and pension credit, and failed to declare their Spanish property and a private NHS pension.
The married couple, in their 60s, was sentenced to 240 hours community service each, and ordered to pay back the benefit they had received fraudulently, and an additional £1,235 to cover the cost of the investigation.
Julie Holland of Wokingham Borough Council’s business assurance team, who helped bring the fraudsters to justice, said: “With such a high demand for social housing and with taxpayers’ money being so tight, it is vitally important that we make sure that council houses and public money only go to those who really need it.”