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Showing posts with label council tax support fraud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label council tax support fraud. Show all posts

2 Mar 2020

Two fined over council tax benefit fraud

Two people received fines and costs and have to pay back thousands of pounds after admitting fraudulently claiming Council Tax Support for years while they were actually working.

Shaun Emery, 46, from Biggleswade, started to claim the benefit in March 2014 on the basis he had no earnings but the fraud team discovered he was in work the following month.

He has to re-pay £3,131.66 for the discount he received, and Luton Magistrates’ Court ordered him to pay costs of £564, a victim surcharge of £44 and fined him £442.

Lynne Morris, 51, of Spoondell, Dunstable started claiming in December 2016 although the fraud team found she too had also been working.

She has to pay back £3,118.96 as well as pay costs of £470, a victim surcharge of £39 and a fine of £390 imposed at the same hearing.

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22 Feb 2019

Man illegally claimed council tax support

A Plymouth man must carry out 160 hours of community service after admitting to quitting his social housing property whilst he still claimed council tax support.

Lloyd Herbert, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud at Plymouth Magistrates Court.

In light of his early guilty plea, he was sentenced to a 12 month community order of 160 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £450 and a victim surcharge of £85.

The court heard how Herbert had been renting a house from Plymouth Community Homes in Ipswich Close, Whitleigh, whilst receiving Council Tax support from the council.

Following a tip off from a neighbour, Herbert was interviewed under caution in October 2017. It was ultimately discovered that Herbert had moved out of Ipswich Close in August 2016, and had failed to notify Plymouth Community Homes.

He had also continued to claim Council Tax support for the property for the same period, despite living elsewhere.

Councillor Sally Haydon, cabinet member for customer focus and community safety, said: "The council is currently supporting a number of individuals and families to live in temporary accommodation while they wait for a permanent residence. That is why it's so important that we pursue and punish those who are dishonest.

"Lloyd Herbert could have given up his property and put it back into the system for others but instead he chose to keep hold of this property for his own benefit when he knew that he was no longer entitled to it."

This does raise the question of what was happening in the property while Herbert was living elsewhere.

Fran Sandercock, PCH senior housing officer, said: "We want to make sure the right people are in the right homes. Social housing is at a premium and many families in need are waiting for accommodation. We're working hard to prevent tenancy fraud and residents and neighbours can help by reporting anything suspicious."

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21 Feb 2019

Cambs man wrongly claimed council tax support

A Fulbourn man has been fined for claiming more than £6,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Leslie Wilkinson, 70, admitted he failed to tell South Cambridgeshire District Council’s benefits department that he had held more than £16,000 in savings since 2013. This made him ineligible for the £6,215 in council tax support he received.

Appearing at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court earlier this month, Wilkinson was ordered to pay back the full amount, plus a fine of £180, costs of £600 and a £30 victim surcharge.

The investigation was started after a council benefits assessment officer conducted a review of Wilkinson’s benefit claim.

Cllr John Williams, the council’s lead cabinet member for finance, said: “This is another case that highlights why it is so important that any resident claiming benefits tells us if their circumstances change.

“Our teams are always happy to speak to residents about the benefits system and answer any queries. We want to help people claim what they’re entitled to but won’t tolerate anyone claiming financial assistance that they should not be getting. If you’re claiming benefits and you think your circumstances have changed, talk to us. If you don’t you could end-up in court.”

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