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19 May 2016

A meaty punishment for £4.6k benefit fraud

A man claimed thousands of pounds in benefits he was not entitled to when he moved from job to job and failed to tell Kirklees Council.

Christopher Hall would start employment at a company but then move onto another place of work just a few months later.

Kirklees magistrates heard that Hall, formerly of Paddock, worked for at least three firms between June 2012 and February 2014. During that time he claimed £4,681 in housing and council tax benefits that he was not entitled to.

Hall was found guilty after a trial of three offences of dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain and one charge of fraud by false representation.

Miles Barker, prosecuting on behalf of Kirklees Council, told magistrates that the 37-year-old first applied to the council for benefits in April 2012. He gained employment on a temporary but regular basis over the next two years.

Between June 1 and August 1 2012 he was employed by Blueberry MA. Hall then worked for DK Consulting between November 1 2012 and January 31 2013. From January 19 2014 to February 28 the same year he worked at Howden Joinery.

Mr Barker said: “Each time he has obtained a job he’s required to inform the authority of that change in circumstances as he is when he finishes that job. This is so that his benefits can be adjusted accordingly. He was working short term employment didn’t declare this and continued to receive the same amount of benefits.”

Magistrates heard that none of the fraudulently obtained cash has yet been repaid to the authority.

He also committed fraud by claiming that neither he nor his partner had a bank account.

Hall, now living in Wakefield, claimed he left all the money matters to his partner.

Magistrates sentenced him to 100 hours of unpaid work.

He also has to pay the full amount of the money he fraudulently obtained to the council as well as £1,000 towards prosecution costs.

Source

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