A female living in Malton has been successfully prosecuted by Ryedale District Council. The woman had claimed Council Tax Reduction since 2013, based on her family’s low income. However, she failed to notify Ryedale District Council that she was working as a self employed cleaner in 2015 and again in 2016. She also failed to declare that her husband had started self employment early in 2014.
The fraud came to light when Ryedale District Council was alerted to the periods of undeclared income by the Department for Works and Pensions. The allegation was investigated by Veritau, the company who investigates fraud on behalf of the council, and who uncovered more fraud than was initially thought.
The investigation found that the female had not informed the Council of three periods of employment and in relation to her husband’s self employed earnings, when the fraud came to light, she made a false statement as to his start date, omitting a full year of self employed earnings for him.
As a result of her fraudulent activity the woman was overpaid £3,712.64 in Council Tax Reduction.
On the 30th October 2018 she pleaded guilty to all charges put to her at Scarborough Magistrates Court and was sentenced to a 12 month community order to include 50 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £548 in costs and £85 victim surcharge.
Angela Jones, Business Support Manager at Ryedale District Council, said “This sends a clear message that the council takes fraud very seriously and people should know that they run the risk of being prosecuted if they are not honest about their circumstances.”
A spokesperson for Veritau said: “People who are in receipt of benefits need to make sure that they report changes in their circumstances in a timely manner, otherwise they could face the consequences of the law. If a member of the public wishes to anonymously report fraud to the council then please call 0800 174553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org”.