Tag Archives: benefit

Countesthorpe benefit cheat to repay benefits after investigation

Blaby District LogoA benefit cheat is to repay nearly £8,000 after pleading guilty to dishonesty charges.

Christopher Phipps, 56, of Rosebank Road, Countesthorpe, was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday 7 January after receiving £7,869.80 in housing benefit and local council tax reduction between February 2013 and January 2015 while not declaring earned income.

The investigation was carried our after a data match to prevent and detect fraud, which compared information held between local authorities and the HMRC.

The court heard there were two occasions when Mr Phipps had contacted the council and made false statements regarding his financial position.

Mr Phipps was given a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £350 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Blaby District Council is recovering the £7,869.80 that was overpaid while Mr Phipps will also be subject to Loss of Benefit provisions. These provisions enable the Secretary of State to apply a sanction to benefits.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Efficiency & Assets, said:

“This case once again demonstrates the importance of declaring true circumstances when claiming benefit and reporting any changes as they take place.

“Failure to do so may lead to a criminal record and could have an impact on future claims.”

Suspected benefit cheats can be reported online at www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud or by calling the DWP National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.

All calls are free and confidential.

Enderby pensioner convicted for benefit fraud

benefit fraud theftAn Enderby resident has been sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge in the first case of benefit fraud under a new data-matching system at the council.

Anthony Fuller, 72, of Sloane Close, Enderby was the first person prosecuted by Blaby District Council following the introduction of data matching ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) from HM Revenues & Customs against benefit data.

Following an ‘RTI’ data match it was found that since July 2008, Mr Fuller had been in receipt of an annuity that had not been declared to the council’s Benefits Section. As a result, benefits of £7,220 had been overpaid.

Mr Fuller pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly failing to declare the receipt of a private pension and was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday 1 October 2015.

Mr Fuller was handed the two year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. As well as receiving a criminal record, the overpayment is being recovered by Blaby District Council.

Cllr Terry Richardson
Cllr.Richardson: important cheats are caught and prosecuted

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency, said:

“Hopefully this latest prosecution will send out a message to those who know their claims aren’t correct.

“This successful prosecution was achieved using the latest data matching techniques which will identify other fraudsters who may have also previously escaped detection.

“It is important these cheats are caught and prosecuted thus ensuring that public funds are safeguarded and only used for those in genuine need.”

Bank Notes

Benefit cheats fail to declare partners are living with them

Bank NotesTwo Blaby District residents have received twelve month community orders and a total of 260 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to benefit fraud.

Whetstone mum Donna Ward legitimately claimed housing and council tax benefits, and income support, when she split up with her husband Michael Chapman, but failed to notify the council when the pair got back together three months later.

Between June 2010 and January 2013, the 42 year old claimed a total of £13,331.61 that she was not entitled to. She received £6,327.20 housing benefit, £1,342.37 council tax benefit, and £5,662.04 income support.

Donna pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates Court on Monday 24 February, and received a twelve month community order with 180 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay £60 victim surcharge. She is also now repaying the £13,000 fraud.

Croft resident Emma Battle dishonestly claimed £5,775.61 between January and August 2013 after failing to declare her partner Mark Baxter was living with her.

The 19 year old was sentenced by Leicester Magistrates Court on Monday 20 January after pleading guilty to claiming income support, housing and council tax benefits, and will have to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work as part of a twelve month community order.

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

“We will continue to work closely with our partner organisations to ensure the full level of any fraud is brought before the courts.

“The vast majority of people are law abiding council tax payers and claim benefit they are entitled to correctly. It is only fair that we take action when benefit is claimed fraudulently.”

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.

Whetstone mum convicted after claiming over £26,000 in benefits

A whetstone mum has been prosecuted and fined for dishonestly claiming more than £26,000 in benefits after she hid the fact her partner was living with her for nearly 18 months.

Kelly Holland, 34, of Shelduck Close, Whetstone, was convicted of three counts of benefits fraud when she appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 5th June 2013.

Mother of four children, she failed to inform authorities that the father of her youngest child was living with her.

By the time the fraud had come to light Kelly had taken £26,377.99 in benefits she was not entitled to.

The court heard that her claims for income support, tax credits and council tax benefit were originally legitimate because her boyfriend was not living there.

However by late 2010 he had moved in and by October 2012 the couple were married.

Kelly pleaded guilty and was ordered to serve an eight week jail sentence, suspended for a year, with 120 hours unpaid work.

She was told by magistrates the offences were custody threshold, but credit had been given for her early guilty plea.

She was also ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £80.

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

“Benefits are designed for those in need and not to be regarded as a pool of wealth into which people can dip their fingers.

“We will continue to work with other agencies to root out fraudsters who cost hardworking tax payers millions of pounds each year.”

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.

police carbenefit,

Changes to Council Tax Benefit in Blaby district

A new Council Tax Support Scheme is being launched to replace Council Tax Benefit in Blaby district on April 1, 2013.

Blaby District Council has developed the scheme after the government cut by £460,000 the amount the Council receives to help pay for benefits and abolished Council Tax Benefit.

For the 5385 claimants in Blaby district, it means anyone of working age will have to pay up to 8.5% of their Council Tax bill. Pensioners will not be affected by these changes.

Councillor John Hudson, portfolio holder for Finance, Efficiency and Assets at Blaby District Council, said: “The challenge we faced was to design a scheme that would support the most vulnerable members of the community but also provide value for money and protect other services for all our residents.

“Through a public consultation we have taken on board the views of our residents and key stakeholders and used this to help develop the new scheme. We understand the changes will not be easy for some members of the community and we will be offering help and support to those affected by this and other welfare reforms.”

From April 1, 2013, there will be other changes to the way Council Tax Support is administered in Blaby district:

  • Second adult rebate is being abolished.
  • Anyone whose income is over their needs allowance, their benefit is reduced by 20p for every £1. Blaby District Council is to increase this to 25p.
  • Property owners, whose property is unoccupied and undergoing major repairs/structural work, will now get a 50% discount for 12 months instead of a full discount.
  • Property owners, whose property is unoccupied, will get a 100% discount for 7 days and then a 50% discount for the remainder of the first six months.

The Council Tax Discretionary Discount, a county wide initiative funded by local authorities, Leicestershire County Council, The Officer of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, has been developed to ensure people who are experiencing severe financial problems can apply for short term help.

Changes to Council Tax Benefit are part of a wider raft of welfare reforms, which also includes changes to the way Housing Benefit is calculated based on under-occupancy– otherwise known as “the bedroom tax”.

For more information visit www.blaby.gov.uk/advice-and-benefitsor call 0116 272 7510