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Enfield Council sends fraudster to jail

Published Wednesday, 05 November 2014

A fraudster who received nearly £100,000 in benefits he was not entitled to was jailed for three months after investigative work by Enfield Council.

Carl St George, 48, of Morley Avenue, Edmonton, was sentenced on the 30 October at Wood Green Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of dishonestly failing to notify a change of circumstance.

Enfield Council has made an application to the court to enable any assets Mr St George has to be sold to recoup some of the money stolen.

Enfield Council’s Counter Fraud Team commenced an investigation after receiving information concerning Mr St George which alleged that his landlord was his partner and the mother of his children.

A check showed that Mr St George had initially claimed housing benefit and council tax benefit from Enfield Council in February 2001, when he declared that he was residing with his daughter at Morley Avenue which was a property he was renting from his landlord Mr N Thomas for £737 per month. He supported his application for benefit by providing a signed tenancy agreement between himself and his landlord.

In October 2003 Mr St George completed another claim form and declared that he was not related to his landlord.

In January 2005 Mr St George notified the Council via the submission of a tenancy agreement that his landlords were Miss N Thomas and Miss N J Thomas of Marion Court, Link Street, E9.

Between February 2001 and May 2006 Mr St George submitted tenancy agreements detailing how much rent he was required to pay to his landlords. Over the years the rent he was required to pay varied between from £780 to £930 per month.

In June 2012 Mr St George completed another claim form and declared that he was required to pay £870 per month in rent to his landlord to whom he declared he was not related.

After making enquiries with Land Registry, Counter Fraud Team investigators found that the property at Morley Avenue had been purchased back in April 2004 by Nathalie Jennifer Thomas and her sister.

Investigators obtained birth certificates from the General Register Office for Mr St George’s children and found that both certificates named Nathalie Jennifer Thomas of Morley Avenue as the mother of his children.

Had Enfield Council been aware Mr St George was living in a property, which was owned by the mother of his children, it would not have paid him benefit, which in total was £99,720.02.

Cllr Andrew Stafford, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance said “Fraudster Carl St George is now sitting inside a jail cell for failing to notify us of a change in his circumstances. People seem to believe that if they fail to tell us something has changed this isn’t fraud, as many of these cases prove it is!

“We are keen to encourage courts to impose the maximum sentence in cases of fraud, as this sends out a clear warning to others that offences like this are serious and will be dealt with severely.

“We are actively looking to seize Mr St George’s assets so that some of this stolen money can be recouped for the public purse. Remember that if you are committing benefit fraud it isn’t a matter of if we will catch you, it is when… “

 


 

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