30 July 2018
Single Person Discount Data Match Prosecution
Richmondshire District Council’s fraud team has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a serious case of fraud which deprived the public purse of over £2,000.
This was the first case of its kind to be discovered through a data matching exercise conducted by the council’s fraud provider, Veritau Ltd. The exercise compared records from multiple sources and revealed that a second individual was linked to a property which had been declared as being occupied by a sole adult.
17 July 2018
Prosecution for blue badge misuse
An investigation carried out by City of York Council has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a case of Blue Badge fraud in the city.
A man was caught misusing his son’s blue badge on Tower Street in December 2017. An investigation into the misuse was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following information received from a Civil Enforcement Officer.
The defendant parked opposite Castle Car Park in a bay reserved for disabled people. Under national regulations, a blue badge can only be used when the badge holder is present or being picked up or dropped off close to where the car is parked displaying the badge. This is to allow people with disabilities to have improved access in the city centre and other areas where they require it.
3 July 2018
Man prosecuted for falsely applying for financial support
Fraudulent use of the York Financial Assistance Scheme, designed to help those in financial difficulty, has been uncovered and successfully prosecuted.
Sentencing includes a 12 month community order with 10 days rehabilition activity requirement and compensation of £375.
A male (aged 49) of Jackson Street, York applied for and obtained a cooker and a fridge freezer from York’s Financial Assistance Scheme stating that he was in need of the items and had no funds to purchase these items himself.
Veritau Shortlisted for IRRV Awards 2018
We are extremely pleased to annouce that Veritau's Fraud Team have been nominated for an award from the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation for the third year in a row. Veritau have been nominated for two awards: Excellence in Counter Fraud, and Excellence in Innovation. The Fraud Team are excited to attend the IRRV Awards on 10th October.
20 June 2018
Scheme for vulnerable residents defrauded
A resident who bought a cooker through a hardship fund and then sold it for profit was prosecuted yesterday (20 June) for defrauding the charitable scheme.
The male (aged 36, York) bought a cooker through the York Financial Assistance Scheme.
Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, carried out an investigation into his claim following information that he was selling the item online, still in its packaging and that his claim was fraudulent.
25 May 2018
Woman prosecuted for theft from mother with dementia
A woman who stole over £20k from her elderly and vulnerable mother has received a suspended sentence and 100 hours community service.
She was interviewed under caution by North Yorkshire Police and admitted to having taken just over £20,000 from her mother who has dementia and lives in a care home.
The woman in question had legal responsibility for her mother’s finances, however she took advantage of this position and took money from her mother for her own use as well as giving some to other family members.
25 May 2018
Landlord prosecuted for Council Tax fraud
A council tax fraud totaling over £2,800 across three properties and over six years has been successfully prosecuted. Sentencing includes a fine of £1,052, 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.
This week at York Magistrates Court (22 May 2018) a 51 year old man of Stillington Road, Brandsby pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud. He had claimed single person discounts at three rental properties that he owned in York, and which variously ran between 2010-2016.
10 May 2018
Social care businessman sentenced for defrauding clients
The former owner of a Harrogate social care business was sentenced at York Crown Court today for defrauding his clients following an investigation by Veritau on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council.
The fraud investigation revealed that the former owner of the Bluebird Care franchise in Harrogate, financially abused his clients while in a position of trust by taking £37k from their managed accounts to supplement his business.
9 April 2018
York’s first business rate fraud prosecuted
An investigation carried out by City of York Council and Veritau has uncovered and prosecuted a serious case of business rate fraud in the city, which deprived the public purse of £4,097.
The prosecution is thought to be the first in the country to be specifically for small business rate relief fraud.
A 27 year old businessman in York provided a forged lease agreement to the council, claiming that the landlord – and not himself - was responsible for the business rates at a barber shop he ran.
12 March 2018
Richmondshire District Council tackles case of benefit fraud
An investigation carried out by the Richmondshire District Council has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a serious case of fraud in the town, which deprived the public purse of just over £3,500.
A woman of Honeypot Road, Brompton-On-Swale, claimed Council Tax Reduction for a number of years. An investigation into her claim was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following information that her and her husband held capital that was not disclosed and that her claim was fraudulent.
19 February 2018
Tenancy fraud awareness week has come around again.
If someone. . . .
- Sublets or abandons a council or housing association property
- Provides false information when applying for housing
- Tries to purchase through Right To Buy when they are not entitled
- Lies to gain succession on a property
- Accepts payments to exchange properties
Please click the links below for more information.
|Tenancy Fraud Awareness Week||Tenancy Fraud Poster|
26 January 2018
2018 Shortlist - Public Finance Innovation Awards | Public Finance Innovation Awards
We are delighted to reveal the 2018 Public Finance Innovation Awards shortlist. Hard work, innovation and dedication to pushing boundaries of excellence within the profession and industry characterised this year’s entries, our distinguished judges agreed.
28th November 2017
Ryedale District Council uncovers £6,000 fraud
An investigation carried out by Ryedale District Council has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a serious case of fraud in the town, which deprived the public purse of almost £6,000.
A female of Firthland Road, Pickering, claimed Council Tax Support and a Single Person’s Discount as a single person for many years. An investigation into her claims was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following information that she had an undeclared partner living with her and that her claim was fraudulent.
During the course of the investigation the woman was interviewed under caution and admitted that her partner had lived with her since 2011 and that she hadn’t declared this to the council.
The investigation concluded with her pleading guilty to all charges at Scarborough Magistrates Court on 28th November 2017.
As a result of her fraudulent activity she was awarded £4,514.37 in Council Tax Reduction. She also received a discount of £1,265.40 against her council tax bills that she was not entitled to.
She was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a requirement to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £150 towards the council’s legal costs.
13 November 2017
International Fraud Awareness Week
12th to 18th November is International Fraud Awareness week. Veritau (the company that investigates fraud on behalf of the council) will be highlighting some of the frauds that affect our organisation.
If you want to know more about risks to the authority in your service area and how to report concerns to the fraud team, stay alert this week, lookout for articles on the intranet, and follow @VeritauLimited on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest fraud news and guidance.
With fraud costing local government an estimated £2.2 billion per year, it is more important than ever that staff across the council work together to fight fraud that threatens frontline services. Veritau are making it clear that anyone committing fraud against the council will be caught and can be subject to prosecution resulting in a criminal record, fines and/or a custodial sentence.
13 November 2017
Data Protection reform and GDPR
GDPR is the new European Union data protection regulation. It will come into force on 25th May 2018 and will - we expect - be accompanied by a new UK Data Protection Act, ready for Brexit in 2019. Veritau will be helping its clients to prepare, and will of course be preparing itself. What are the main changes, and what must we all do?
Firstly, be compliant with the current Data Protection Act. Its features will all continue – the rights of data subjects, and the duties on data controllers – so fulfilling all of those will mean only the new features need to be added. A complete Information Asset Register is an essential tool for locating the contracts and privacy notices that should be reviewed.
There are some significant detailed changes but overall, organisations will have to be able to demonstrate compliance. So the Information Asset Register will now also record the legal basis of all processing. If that relies on consent, then each consent must be recorded. Indeed consent must be positively indicated – no more pre-ticked boxes.
Consent has always been difficult to rely on, and will become more so for large public sector organisations. The need to carry out “Public Task” – providing public services – is likely to become a more reliable legal basis.
The Information Asset Register will also help identify contracts for data processing, which must be reviewed because the processor will become liable for its data breaches directly to data subjects (and the Information Commissioner). The need for better evidence will also mean we must document all our data sharing with other data controllers.
Other headline changes:
- time for a Subject Access Request is reduced to 30 days (although perhaps extendable)
- maximum fine the ICO can impose rises to £18m
- children of 13 and over will not need parental consent to use social media
- new or different services must be subject to a Data Protection Impact Assessment
- significant data breaches must be reported to ICO and perhaps data subjects
Lastly all public authorities (and other large organisations) must employ a Data Protection Officer. This can be either a person or an organisation, must be suitably qualified, and be given sufficient resources and independence to carry out the role.