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11 Feb 2015

Barnet & Hertsmere sum losses to benefit fraudsters

Fraudsters who pretended to be hard-up to swindle money out of the benefit system have cheated a council out of nearly £6million in the past ten years. (h/t Dave)

In response to a Freedom of Information Request from the Times Series, Barnet Borough Council admitting to paying out £6,302,097 to people later found to be committing benefit fraud.

The money was paid out to 231 people who were later convicted between 2005 and 2014.

The highest amount was paid out in the 2013/14 financial year, when £1,195,154 was given to fraudsters.

Although the authority says it is impossible to tell exactly much money has been recovered, 40 per cent is paid back by the Department for Work and Pensions. Courts also often order people to repay the money on payment plans.

In neighbouring Hertsmere, which covers Potters Bar, a similar request showed £916,063 has been paid out to 101 fraudsters since 2006. It has so far recovered £815,295 from the DWP and payment plans.

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