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21 May 2013

Benefits fraud lasted six years

A Whitley council tenant with more than £26,000 in the bank has been jailed for six months for benefit fraud.

Dennis Campbell, 52, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday, May 3, following a joint investigation by Reading Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The investigation followed an allegation that Campbell had undisclosed capital.

He had been claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit from Reading Borough Council and also Jobseeker’s Allowance from the DWP dating back to 1998.

The council and DWP obtained bank statements which showed Campbell held balances in excess of between £26,000 and £49,000 during the time he was claiming.

Campbell was interviewed by DWP officers and the council’s housing benefit investigators.

Despite being in contact with the council about his housing benefit claim, Campbell consistently failed to disclose the fact he had money in the bank which disqualified him from claiming benefits.

He was charged with offences under The Fraud Act 2006 and Section 111A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

Campbell admitted five charges of fraud – two of making false representations to the DWP and three of failing to promptly report changes in his circumstances to both Reading Borough Council and the DWP.

The offences covered the period from July 2005 to October 2011 and involved an overpayment of benefits totalling £50,800.89.

All the money Campbell fraudulently received will be retrieved by the council.

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