AN ELDERLY benefits cheat has been ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.
Michael Fitzpatrick from Northleach Close in Church Hill plead guilty to dishonestly claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit totalling £7,499 between May 2011 and May 2014 by failing to declare the true extent of his savings.
The investigation began as a result of a ‘data match’ which matches electronic data between local authorities and HMRC to prevent and detect fraud.
Handing the 71-year-old a 12-month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work, magistrates said his sentence would have been greater had he not entered an early guilty plea and made arrangements with the council to pay the money fraudulently obtained.
Fitzpatrick was also ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs.
To report a suspected benefit fraud case, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01527 534011.