An investigation carried out by Richmondshire District Council has uncovered and successfully prosecuted a serious case of fraud in the city, which deprived the public purse of £770.61.

A male (aged 42) of Scotton, submitted a claim for Council Tax Reduction (CTR) in the name of his mother and supported the application with a tenancy agreement that was subsequently found to be fake. An investigation into the CTR claim was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following suspicions raised by council staff in the benefit and council tax departments. The claim and tenancy agreement claimed that the male’s mother lived at the property by herself however the investigation proved that the male and his wife were also living at the property. The fraud was a calculated attempt to reduce the amount of council tax they had to pay for the property.

The investigation concluded with the man pleading guilty to all charges at Northallerton Magistrates Court on the 17th December 2018.

As a result of his fraudulent activity his mother was awarded £770.61 in Council Tax Reduction, which she was not entitled to. His mother was unaware of her son’s fraudulent application.

Today he was sentenced to a fine of £1,250. Besides repayment arrangements, he was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £125 and court costs of £252.00.

We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email counter.fraud@veritau.co.uk.

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