Council tax fraudster hit with court fine and costs

3 November 2023

A Middlesbrough Council Tax fraudster has been hit hard in the pocket after stealing from the public purse for over six years.

The individual admitted six counts of fraud contrary to Council Tax Reduction Scheme Regulations when he appeared before Teesside Magistrates on Tuesday October 24.

The court heard how he had received £7,886 in benefits he was not entitled to between 2015 and 2021 after failing to declare his true circumstances to the Council.

The individual owned two properties in London, one of which he rented out while claiming Council Tax Reduction from Middlesbrough Council.

His true circumstances became clear following an investigation by Veritau, who investigate fraud on behalf of the Council.

He was fined £846 with £338 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £1,270 towards the Council’s legal and investigation costs.

In mitigation the court heard representations around the individual’s good character and the fact that the money had been paid back in full.

A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said:

“The Council encourages all who need financial support to claim the benefits they are entitled to, cases like this clearly show what happens when people abuse the system by providing false information and not declaring changes in circumstances.

“Fraud against the Council is a crime against everyone who lives in Middlesbrough and we won’t hesitate to take strong action against those that commit it.”

Anyone with any information on fraudulent activity is urged to call the Veritau counter fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email [email protected]

Find out more about our Counter Fraud service here.