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|
19 January 2018
Thirsk couple sentenced for social care fraud
A serious fraud detected by the council helped secure a successful prosecution with a couple from Thirsk each being sentenced to two years in prison.
A couple, aged 65 and 68, were found by City of York Council fraud and adult social care officers to have failed to declare £210,000. This should have gone towards the nursing care for the woman's mother, which the council was paying for.
31 January 2018
First prosecution from crackdown on blue badge misuse
The first person found to be fraudulently using parking services reserved for disabled people during a council campaign, was prosecuted yesterday (30 January 2018).
Council civil enforcement officers and Veritau, the company that investigates fraud on behalf of the council, offered a two-week amnesty in July for the return of expired badges which allow use of these services without question, or fear of legal action being taken.
Once the amnesty passed, proactive ‘enforcement patrols’ were carried across York in August and November. Enforcement officers and investigators checked badges on display to confirm that they were still valid, that the badge holder was present and using the badge. Where misuse was found, penalty charges were issued as well as criminal investigations instigated.
The first person found to be misusing a blue badge by these patrols has been prosecuted at York Magistrates Court.
A car was found in Piccadilly car park on 3 August 2017 displaying the driver’s late husband’s blue badge. The driver had parked fraudulently in a disabled bay and had therefore evaded paying parking charges.
Veritau investigators found that the badge holder had died and a penalty charge notice was issued to the driver who claimed she had correctly displayed her blue badge.
When interviewed under caution the driver admitted that it was her late husband’s badge that she had displayed. She claimed that she had been blocked in when parking elsewhere earlier in the day and that she kept the invalid badge in her car.
Pleading guilty to all charges at the Magistrates Court, she was sentenced to a £100 fine and ordered to pay a court surcharge of £30 and court costs of £349.40.
Councillor David Carr, leader of City of York, said, “The council is committed to tackling all forms of fraud. The blue badge scheme is for people with mobility problems. Misuse impacts on the limited capacity of parking available for legitimate disabled users who have little or no choice about how they get about."
A blue badge should be handed back to the council if:
- It has expired
- The badge holder is no longer eligible to use one
- It is a replacement for a badge lost or stolen and the original has since been found
- The badge is so damaged or faded that the details are not clear
- The badge holder has died.
Blue badge fraud is a problem across the UK and is thought to cost the country £46 million a year. Someone found misusing a blue badge faces prosecution and a £1,000 fine.
30 January 2018
Council uncovers four-year Council Tax fraud
An investigation into council tax discounts has led to the discovery and prosecution of a long-running case of fraud which defrauded the public purse of £1,172.
A forty four year old man incorrectly claimed a single person discount on his council tax payments for four years. An investigation was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, which found that another two adults were living at the property and that the Single Person Discount claim was fraudulent.
During the investigation the man was interviewed under caution and admitted that he had had a couple of adults living with him at his property since 2013. He said that he had made a false statement during a Single Person Discount review, and had failed to declare changes to his household to the council. He had received a discount of £1,172.08 against his council tax bill to which he was not entitled.
He pleaded guilty to all charges at York Magistrates Court on 30 January 2018 and was sentenced to pay a fine of £430.00. Besides repayment arrangements, he was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £45.00 and court costs of £450.00.
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.