21 March 2017

An investigation carried out by Veritau has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a serious case of fraud which deprived the public purse of over £4,400.

A former Richmond Town Councillor claimed Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax Reduction for 3 years. An investigation into the benefit claims was conducted by Veritau, the Council’s fraud investigation service, following concerns raised that the individual had not declared the full extent of their income.

During the course of the investigation the claimant admitted that they had not updated the council with details of all of their income.  The investigation concluded with guilty pleas being entered to three charges at Northallerton Magistrates Court on March 14.

As a result of the fraudulent activity the individual received £3,487.73 in Housing Benefit, £474.90 in Council Tax Benefit and £450.80 in Council Tax Reduction to which they were not entitled.

The claimant was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay full court costs of £612.60 plus a victim surcharge of £20. The court was informed that the former councillor had repaid the undue benefits in full ahead of the case being heard.

Councillor Ian Threlfall, Richmondshire District Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “This is a good result in the fight on fraud against the public purse. It shows that ultimately fraud does not pay and that the council will take seriously and prosecute those who try to take advantage of the system designed to support those in genuine need. We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the fraud hotline on 01904 552935 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

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