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.

An investigation into his claim was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following information that he was planning to sell the items for cash and that his application was fraudulent.

During the course of the investigation he was visited at his home and he denied having ever received the goods. However, he had signed a delivery note to the contrary a few weeks earlier. He no longer had the goods in his flat and indeed he already had a cooker and a fridge freezer of his own.

In mitigation, he said that his benefits has been stopped for a seven week period, which left him in dire financial circumstances. He broke his ankle in 2016, has had 4 operations on his ankle since then and is due further surgery later this year when he expects to be fitted with an ankle brace.

The investigation concluded with him pleading guilty to all charges at York Magistrates Court on 3 July 2018. 

As a result of his fraudulent activity he was awarded goods to the value of £375 that he was not entitled to.

Today, Monday 9 July 2018, he was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 10 days rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay compensation to City of York Council of £375.

Councillor Helen Douglas, executive member with responsibility for fraud, said: “Fraudulent claims of the York Financial Assistance Scheme can deprive residents of much-needed funds and can affect our ability to support people who ask the scheme for help.

“I hope this prosecution will serve as a reminder to those who are thinking of committing such an act, that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .”

 

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