Caught for benefit fraud
Published Monday 3rd September 12 in Council - news and information releases news
A Southend man must now pay the price for £11,567.86 worth of benefit fraud.
At Southend Magistrates Court on Wednesday 15th August, Philip Little, 59, of Prospect Close, Southend, admitted seven counts of failing to declare a change of circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council.
He was given an two-month suspended prison sentence, ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, and must also repay all of the benefits he wrongly received.
Mr. Little received Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support from the Department for Work and Pensions, and Housing and Council Tax Benefit from Southend-on -Sea Borough Council, after maintaining that he was living as a single person who was either unemployed, or was too ill to work.
However, without telling these authorities he also worked at various times as a self employed ground worker, and in October 2011, Mr. Little's partner moved in with him.
He was therefore given Jobseeker's Allowance of £1,257.82, Income Support of £3,927.10, Housing Benefit of £5,480.87 and Council Tax Benefit of £902.07 - totalling £11,567.86 - to which he was not entitled
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council's Executive Councillor for Corporate Support Services, Councillor Andrew Moring said: "Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is committed to paying benefits to those who are entitled, but it also has a duty to protect the public purse and take action against people committing benefit fraud.
"It is an offence to commit benefit fraud and repayment of benefit is not the only action that the Council may wish to take.
"If anyone has suspicions over a person entitlement to benefit they can call the Corporate Fraud Investigation Team direct on 01702 215254, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
"All information received is treated in the strictest confidence."