Tag Archives: Benefit fraud

Magistrates say benefit cheat who narrowly avoided jail is “a very lucky man”

Benefit Fraud graphicFather-of-two, Ben Lally, 27, from Thorpe Astley, who dishonestly claimed nearly £10,000 from Blaby District Council over 3 ½ years, has narrowly avoided jail.

Ben Lally was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court 6th March 2015, having pleaded Guilty to 9 charges of benefit fraud at an earlier hearing.

Between June 2010 and March 2014, Lally falsely claimed £7,421.06 in Housing Benefit, £1,381.82 Council Tax Benefit and a further £681.51 in Council Tax Support. During that time, he under declared his earnings and provided counterfeit pay slips, forged letters & certificates of earnings from his employer.

Magistrates stated

“Mr Lally you are a very lucky man today. There can be no doubt of the planning and sophistication of the offending. The only thing in your favour was that it was not false from the outset.”

“You do not have any previous convictions for dishonesty; you also show very apparent remorse. You were diagnosed at a young age with a debilitating disease and started to panic.

“You are the sole earner for your wife and two small children; you get a full 1/3 credit for your guilty plea.”

“We therefore sentence you to 26 weeks custody, the maximum available sentence in this court, which we wholly suspend for the maximum period of 2 years.

“There is one requirement, which is for you to complete 150 hours of unpaid work within 12 months. You will pay a victim surcharge of £80 and the costs of the prosecution in full of £1,374.40, at £50pcm, a Collection Order will also be imposed.”

Mr Lally was warned that the Court costs were a priority debt. Magistrates again stated they could not stress how lucky he had been, the offence is so serious that custody was the only option.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“Not only has Mr Lally got to repay all the stolen monies, he now has a criminal record and court costs to pay. It is extremely important that people claiming benefit tell us about any change in their circumstances. We will always take action against people who try to abuse the system.

“Those who are claiming money they are not entitled to should be prepared to face the consequences”.

If you have any information relating to benefit fraud, please call Blaby District Council’s 24 hour confidential benefit fraud hotline on 0116 2727733 or complete the online benefit fraud allegation form at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud

Thorpe Astley man narrowly avoids jail following conviction of benefit fraud

Photo: Scales of JusticeFather-of-two, Ben Lally, 27, from Thorpe Astley, who dishonestly claimed nearly £10,000 from Blaby District Council over 3 ½ years, has narrowly avoided jail.

Ben Lally was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court 6th March 2015, having pleaded Guilty to 9 charges of benefit fraud at an earlier hearing.

Between June 2010 and March 2014, Lally falsely claimed £7,421.06 in Housing Benefit, £1,381.82 Council Tax Benefit and a further £681.51 in Council Tax Support. During that time, he under declared his earnings and provided counterfeit pay slips, forged letters & certificates of earnings from his employer.

Magistrates stated

“Mr Lally you are a very lucky man today. There can be no doubt of the planning and sophistication of the offending. The only thing in your favour was that it was not false from the outset.”

“You do not have any previous convictions for dishonesty; you also show very apparent remorse. You were diagnosed at a young age with a debilitating disease and started to panic. You are the sole earner for your wife and two small children; you get a full 1/3 credit for your guilty plea.

“We therefore sentence you to 26 weeks custody, the maximum available sentence in this court, which we wholly suspend for the maximum period of 2 years. There is one requirement, which is for you to complete 150 hours of unpaid work within 12 months. You will pay a victim surcharge of £80 and the costs of the prosecution in full of £1,374.40, at £50pcm, a Collection Order will also be imposed.”

Mr Lally was warned that the Court costs were a priority debt. Magistrates again stated they could not stress how lucky he had been, the offence is so serious that custody was the only option.

Photo Cllr. Richardson
Cllr. Terry Richardson

Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“Not only has Mr Lally got to repay all the stolen monies, he now has a criminal record and court costs to pay.

“It is extremely important that people claiming benefit tell us about any change in their circumstances. We will always take action against people who try to abuse the system.

“Those who are claiming money they are not entitled to should be prepared to face the consequences.”

Anyone with any information relating to benefit fraud, please call Blaby District Council’s 24 hour confidential benefit fraud hotline on 0116 2727733 or complete the online benefit fraud allegation form at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud

Woman hid £27,000 inheritance in benefits claim

justiceA woman who hid a £27,000 inheritance and then claimed benefits has been fined.

Lynne Sansome, of Williams Close, Littlethorpe, was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday November 7 after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming Housing and Council Tax Benefit.

People with savings of more than £16,000 are not entitled to benefits.

The court accepted that while Mrs Sansome had chosen to give away some of the money, it was still deemed to be hers and affected her benefit entitlement.

Between April 2008 and January 2012 she received £7,094.70 from Housing and Council Tax Benefit that she had no entitlement to.

The court heard she is already repaying this amount.

Giving credit for her early plea and efforts to repay the falsely claimed benefit, magistrates imposed a £350 fine, £35 victim surcharge and ordered her to pay £607.50 towards the council’s prosecution costs.

The case was brought by Blaby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Speaking after the hearing Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder, said:

“The courts again showed that benefit fraud is taken seriously. People claiming benefits they are not entitled to should be aware that fraudsters are getting caught and facing severe penalties. If anyone else has not declared their true circumstances they should do so before they are caught.”

If you suspect anyone in Blaby District of committing benefit fraud, please call the Council’s confidential Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0116 272 7733 or complete the online form at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud

Jail sentence for Enderby mother who claimed over £24,000 in benefits

justiceAn Enderby resident has been sentenced to six weeks in prison, suspended for a year after fraudulently claiming more than £24,000 in benefits.

Kelly Marie Green, 28, of Salts Close, Enderby, did not declare her employed partner (now husband) had moved into the family home, and continued to claim income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Between July 2008 and November 2011, she fraudulently claimed £7,999.48 income support, £12,930.96 housing benefit and £3,331.04 council tax benefit, making a total overpayment of £24,261,48.

Kelly pleaded guilty to two offences on Monday 29th July 2013 at Leicester Magistrates Court for dishonestly failing to notify Blaby District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

She was sentenced to six weeks custody for each offence, to run concurrently but suspended for twelve months, as well as 200 hours of unpaid work, £40 costs and £80 victim surcharge.

Full recovery of the overpayment is being pursued in addition to the criminal prosecution.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“It is very important we are notified immediately of changes in circumstances, such as a partner moving in, as it can affect benefit entitlements. Benefit fraud costs the tax payer a lot of money, at a time when honest people are really feeling the pinch.

“Our track record at investigating and uncovering fraud is excellent and we work very hard to catch the people who commit it. We will continue to do whatever we can to prosecute those who think they can get away with cheating the system.”

Benefit cheats in Blaby district can be reported online at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud or by calling 0116 272 7733 .

All calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

Cosby resident sentenced after dishonestly claiming benefits

justiceA Cosby resident has been found guilty of fraudulently claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support.

Tracey Smith, 34, of Mount Road, Cosby, will have to repay the £7,472 she claimed, after failing to declare she was living with a partner who was in full time employment.

Blaby District Council worked jointly with the Department of Work and Pensions to seal the conviction and Tracey was prosecuted at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday 20th June 2013.

She was sentenced to a three month curfew order and ordered to pay back the benefits claimed that she was not entitled to.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“We are aware of the difficulties caused by the current economic climate, however people shouldn’t consider benefit fraud as a way out of their financial difficulties. We are keen to help all those who are entitled to benefits, but are also focused on preventing fraudulent claims.”

Benefit cheats in Blaby district can be reported online at www.blaby.gov.uk/fraud or by calling 0116 272 7733 .

All calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.