Tag Archives: cheat

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.

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

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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.

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Photo: Scales of Justice

Blaby district resident receives criminal record for £10,000 benefit fraud

A Braunstone resident has received a criminal record after admitting over £10,000 in benefit fraud.

Hardev Kaur Basra, 58, of The Osiers, Braunstone, Leicester, claimed Income Support, Housing and Council Tax Benefit on the basis of being a single person.

An investigation by Blaby District Council and Jobcentre Plus found that between October 2010 and October 2011, Hardev’s husband had in fact been living with her.

This means she was not entitled to the money.

Her husband was working whilst she continued to claim benefits and they also travelled together to India.

Hardev was overpaid £4,959.71 in Housing Benefit, £1,229.67 in Council Tax and £4,624.10 in Income Support.

She denied the allegations throughout the investigation, but admitted all charges at Leicester Magistrates Court on Tuesday 22 January 2013.

Senior Magistrates said they were puzzled that she did not know where her money was coming from.

Hardev was sentenced to two years Conditional Discharge and ordered to pay £200 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge. All the overpaid monies are being recovered.

If a further offence is committed within the two years she may also be re-sentenced for this offence.

Councillor John Hudson, Finance and Efficiency portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:

“This sends a clear message that the Council takes fraud very seriously and people should know they run the risk of being prosecuted if they are not honest about their circumstances.

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.

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