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BBC DJ falsely claimed benefits

A radio presenter who falsely claimed £18,000 in benefits while working as a DJ for the BBC has been committed to Crown Court for sentence.

Birmingham Magistrates' Court heard that Lubna Qazi failed to inform the authorities of her work on the BBC's Asian Network despite claiming carer's allowance for almost seven years.

Qazi, 53, admitted a single count of failing to notify the Department of Work and Pensions of a change of circumstances, contrary to the Social Security Administration Act.

The presenter, of Colmore Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, was granted unconditional bail and will be sentenced at the city's Crown Court on December 21.

Magistrates heard that the DJ - who broadcasts under the name Kanwal Qazi - began to claim carer's allowance after her husband suffered a stroke in 2002. But she then failed to declare that she was receiving an income in excess of the permitted limit while claiming the benefit between March 2003 and January this year.

It emerged in court that Qazi was earning £24.47p per hour at the Asian Network, working a three-hour shift on both Saturday and Sunday. Her show is said by the BBC's website to feature "timeless classics" from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Defence solicitor Carl Vasey told the court that his client had reached a settlement with the authorities after receiving a total overpayment of £18,014.

Mr Vasey told magistrates: "There is a great deal of personal mitigation in this matter and there has already been a civil settlement reached."

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