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Fraudster prosecuted by Enfield Council

Published Monday, 19 March 2012

A 64 year old man who fraudulently claimed £8,400 of Housing and Council Tax Benefit while having more than £16,000 of savings has been given a 12 month community order by magistrates and ordered to pay £550 costs.

Cllr Stafford

Brian Johnson of Eastfield road, Enfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly making false representations in relation to his claims for the benefits from Enfield Council and was sentenced on Monday 12 March. He will also be forced to pay back the money.

He initially claimed Housing and Council Tax Benefit from Enfield Council in September 2007 and declared he was self employed, on a low income and had savings of under £6,000. But suspicion fell on him when Enfield Council's Counter Fraud Team received a Housing Benefit Matching Service data match report showing he had savings of more than £16,000.

Investigators from the Counter Fraud Team looked into the matter and found Mr Johnson had savings in excess of £19,000 held in 2 accounts at the time he made his claims for housing and Council Tax Benefit.

In total he had fraudulently claimed and received £7,082.18 of Housing Benefit and £1,432.36 of Council Tax Benefit between 3 September 2007 and 8 August 2010.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, Cllr Andrew Stafford, said: "We will not tolerate cheats defrauding hard working council tax payers and stealing money that we'd rather be investing in front line services.

"The message we have for people who defraud Enfield Council is that we are going to catch you eventually and when we do we'll throw the full force of the law against you. Benefit fraud is a despicable crime because it takes money away from our most vulnerable members of society and reduces our ability to those people who need our help most."

 

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