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19 Dec 2014

Cheshire East detects £1.3m benefit fraud

More than £1m of council taxpayers’ money has been clawed back from benefit cheats this year after Cheshire East hauled 56 people before the courts. (h/t Dave)

The landmark figures were revealed as the council successfully prosecuted another six people in the borough this month.

Since January 1 the authority’s benefit investigations team has uncovered more than £1.315m in fraudulently-obtained benefits and secured 56 convictions.

All the stolen money will have to be repaid by the offenders.

Cheshire East Council says it actively pursues the recovery of all fraudulently obtained money to ensure the taxpayer does not lose out.

Cllr Peter Raynes, cabinet member in charge of finance, said
Benefit fraud will not be tolerated. In the last financial year, we successfully prosecuted more than 40 benefit cheats and to date this year we have uncovered and cracked down successfully on 56 offenders.

I congratulate our enforcement teams on their hard work on taxpayers’ behalf. The message is clear – people who cheat the system will be brought to justice.
On top of the 56 benefit fraud convictions, a further 27 people were handed financial penalties rather than being prosecuted and 26 people were issued with cautions.

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