25 Jan 2013

Conditional discharge for £8.7k benefit thief

Not telling the truth about his working hours or how much he earned has left one man having to pay back nearly £9,000. (h/t Dave)

Robert Leach, from Kentwood Hill, Tilehurst, also has a 24-month conditional discharge against his name after Reading Borough Council cracked down on the benefit cheat.

The 62-year-old admitted two charges under the Social Security Act 1992 before Reading magistrates on January 9.

Leach applied for help with paying his rent and council tax in September 2009. Since then he reported several changes of circumstances to the council. But in May 2011, he claimed he had found 15 hours of work a week and was earning on average £168 – he was actually working 40 hours and earning £1,000 a week. He admitted he did not report this because he would lose benefits, but now he must repay £8,721.

Councillor Jo Lovelock, leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “I want to congratulate the council's fraud team on yet another successful prosecution.”

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