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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Benefits cheat ordered to repay more than £1,200

 

A man who fraudulently claimed more than £1,200 in benefits has been ordered by magistrates to repay the money.

David Wainwright, 42, formerly of Shropshire Street, Audlem, pleaded guilty at South and East Cheshire Magistrates’ Court to an offence of failing to report a change in his circumstances in relation to his claim for Housing Benefit

Magistrates sitting at Crewe heard (on Tuesday, February 25) that Wainwright claimed Housing Benefit from April 2012, but investigators from Cheshire East Council’s benefit fraud team found, in February 2013, that he had left his property in November 2012.

Wainwright failed to report this change and continued to receive Housing Benefit for a property he was no longer living in.

Failure to report this change led to Wainwright being overpaid Housing Benefit totalling £1,211.55. The prosecution was brought by Cheshire East Council’s legal team.

Magistrates imposed a two-year conditional discharge on Wainwright and a compensation order to reclaim the overpaid benefits. He was also ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Councillor Peter Raynes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of finance, said: “Prosecutions such as this send out the clear message that Cheshire East is an enforcing Council which will act firmly to protect our local communities from those who abuse the rules at the expense of honest taxpayers.

“Benefit fraud simply will not be tolerated and we are committed to ensuring these fraudsters are brought to justice.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787. You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the Council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

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