Wife of Cambridgeshire councillor Peter Lagoda told she must pay back more than £23,000 or face prison

Cllr Peter Lagoda.

Cllr Peter Lagoda. - Credit: Archant

A county councillor’s wife has been ordered to pay back more than £23,000 following her conviction for benefit offences ... or risk going to prison.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Peterborough Crown Court on December 22, Maria Lagoda, of Cocketts Drive, Wisbech, was told she must pay back £23,075 to Fenland District Council and the Department of Work and Pensions within six months or she will be jailed for 10 months.

She is the wife of Councillor Peter Lagoda, who represents Wisbech South on Cambridgeshire County Council.

Last March, Mrs Lagoda admitted to six counts of failing to notify a change in circumstances for the purpose of obtaining benefit.

She failed to notify Fenland District Council that Cllr Lagoda was staying with her in Appledorn Walk, Wisbech, and later at Frinton Way, Wisbech.

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As a result, between June 08 and November 10, she received £24,861 in housing benefit, income support and council tax benefit to which she was not entitled.

Cllr Lagoda, who won his Wisbech seat at the 2013 election, told Fenland District Council in 2009 he was living at South Beach, Heacham, but was instead living with his then girlfriend, now wife, Mrs Lagoda, in Frinton Way.

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Cllr Lagoda was told he must pay £1,950, also within six months, or spend 30 days in prison.

As a result of his court case, his UKIP membership was not renewed.

The pair were originally charged with fraud but these charges were dropped in favour of lesser offences, which removed any reference to “dishonesty”, on February 24.

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