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19 Jun 2013

Prison for housing benefit fraud

A fraudster who falsely claimed £50,000 in housing and council tax benefits and income support has been given an eight-month prison sentence. (h/t anonymous)

Raymond Daniels was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court last week, after pleading guilty to two counts of dishonesty against the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The 56-year-old had been in receipt of housing benefit on the basis that he was not working.

However, the crook aroused the suspicions of council officers when he applied for a parking permit for a lorry.

Following a joint investigation by the council and the DWP, undeclared bank accounts were discovered which contained in excess of £40,000.

Even though the accounts were in his name, Daniels refused to admit that the money was his, and midway through a taped interview he demanded that the recorder be turned off and left the interview room throwing his rent book at the investigators.

In sentencing Judge Johnson stated the fraud was a continued serious act of dishonesty. Daniels’ lawyer explained that his client was remorseful and felt shameful about his actions.

The housing benefit overpayment amounted to £23,696.94, council tax to £4,414.21 and income support to £23,193.70, covering the period August 2007 to September 2011.

Councillor Warwick Lightfoot, cabinet member for finance, said:
It is outrageous Mr Daniels felt that he could steal tens of thousands of pounds from the taxpayer. This prison sentence sends out a clear message to those who are trying to defraud the taxpayer and make it harder for those in genuine need. I congratulate our council officers for their vigilance and can tell residents that we will work with colleagues in local and central government to prevent abuses of the system.

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