October 1st, 2016

Redditch fraudster claimed over £4,000 in housing benefit

Redditch fraudster claimed over £4,000 in housing benefit Redditch fraudster claimed over £4,000 in housing benefit
Updated: 5:07 pm, Aug 13, 2015

A Batchley man has been sentenced to 133 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming housing benefits.

Che Smith, 31 of Batchley Road in Batchley, was sentenced by Redditch Magistrates Court on 11th August 2015. Mr Smith pleaded guilty to dishonestly claiming Housing Benefit amounting to £4,353.81 between June 2013 and November 2014 by failing to declare that he was working as a roofer.

The court heard that he also attempted to deceive the council by not declaring the work when his claim was reviewed.

He was given a 12 month community order with 133 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £85. District Judge Cadbury said that his sentence would have been greater had he not entered an early guilty plea.

The investigation began as a result of a data match that matches electronic data within local authorities and HMRC to prevent and detect fraud.

A spokesperson for Redditch Borough Council said: “Anybody making a claim for benefit is making a legal declaration that they will report any changes in their circumstances to the council at the earliest opportunity. This case demonstrates the importance of doing so and the consequences of failing to.”

Anybody wishing to report a case of suspected benefit fraud can do so by ringing the Investigation Team during office hours on 01527 534011 or by visiting www.redditchbc.gov.uk/fraud

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