Published: December 26, 2010
District council targets benefit fraudsters in Burnham-On-Sea

Sedgemoor District Council's legal team has this month targeted two benefit fraudsters in the Burnham-On-Sea area by taking their cases to court.

Two local men have appeared before Bridgwater Magistrates
over the past week after being caught by the council.

A 33 year-old man from Hudson Street in Burnham, who reported a housing benefit cheque as missing, requested a replacement while living at his previous address on The Esplanade.

"An investigation revealed that the cheque, amounting to £284, had in fact been cashed at Cash Converters by the man himself. He was interviewed under caution by investigators, but he denied that he had obtained the money himself despite the evidence shown to him," council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

"The investigation continued and further evidence was established confirming his attempt to obtain monies by deception. This gave the council little option but to present the case in court and the offender pleaded guilty before magistrates, who sentenced him to a fine and awarded costs and a victim surcharge."

Separately, an investigation was conducted into reports that a property in Lympsham had been empty and subsequently re-let despite there being a housing benefit claim in payment to a 45 year-old male.
Enquiries established that he had left the address and moved to Weston-super-mare at the end of November last year but continued to accept benefit payments of over £400 per month into his bank account until March this year. The offender was given a court sentence of a fine plus costs and the council will be seeking full repayment of a benefit overpayment in excess of £1,700.

Spokeswoman Claire Faun added: "Sedgemoor District Council will continue to bring such cases before the courts and remain committed to working with other agencies to discover the full extent of any fraudulent activity when prosecuting for benefit-related offences," spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

Several further fraud cases are to be heard shortly.

 


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