December 26, 2010
council targets benefit fraudsters in Burnham-On-Sea
District Council's legal team has this month targeted two benefit
fraudsters in the Burnham-On-Sea area by taking their cases to
Two local men have appeared before Bridgwater Magistrates
the past week after being caught by the council.
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.
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.
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
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.