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16 May 2018

Council tax fraudsters in court

A benefit cheat spent hundreds a month on luxury hire cars while claiming council tax support - but now he has faced justice.

Jamie Lee Roberts, from Great Cambourne, appeared at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court last week (Thursday, May 10).

The 44-year-old was prosecuted after telling South Cambridgeshire District Council he earned around £20,000 less than he actually did while self-employed during the 2015/16 tax year, to obtain council tax support.

He also over-estimated his allowable expenditure. These two dishonest statements led to Roberts claiming more than £1,900 in Council Tax Support on the basis that he was in receipt of low income.

However, a benefits assessment officer discovered that Roberts was spending more than £800 a month on luxury hire vehicles, despite claiming this support.

Further investigations also revealed that Mr Roberts had holidayed abroad and concealed personal spending in undeclared bank accounts.

Due to the false statements made by Roberts, he claimed £1,922 in assistance from the authority which he was not entitled to.

Appearing in court, he pleaded guilty to a total of four offences and was fined £746. He must also pay back the full amount to the council, pay £455.55 to cover the authority’s costs and pay a victim surcharge of £50.

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In a separate case at the court, Kelly Myson, 28, was fraudulently claiming Council Tax support and single person discount on the basis that she was a single mother on a low income.

However, she did not tell South Cambridgeshire District Council that her partner, who was in paid employment, was also living at her address.

As a result, she falsely claimed reductions of £1,416 via Council Tax support between August 2016 and October 2017. Additionally, single person discount of £209 was also paid on the basis that Ms Myson was living as a single person.

The investigation that led to Ms Myson appearing in court began after she indicated to a district council department, separate to the benefits team, that her partner was living with her.

In court, she pleaded guilty and was fined £80. She must also pay £50 to cover the Council’s court costs, a victim surcharge of £30 and pay back the full amount owed.

Source

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