A man has admitted fraudulently claiming more than £8,000 in benefits while secretly drawing on his company pension.
Jack Parker, 63, of School Bank, Wybunbury, near Crewe, pleaded guilty at South and East Cheshire Magistrates’ Court (on July 14, 2014) to two charges of failing to notify of a change in his circumstances that would affect his entitlement to housing benefit, Council Tax benefit and jobseekers’ allowance.
Cheshire East Council is now actively taking steps to ensure Parker repays all the benefits he fraudulently claimed.
Magistrates sitting at Crewe heard that Parker claimed housing benefit and Council Tax benefit from May 2011 and jobseekers’ allowance from July 2012, on the basis that he was on a low income. Investigators from the Council’s benefit fraud team found that he had started to receive an occupational pension.
Parker failed to report this change to the Council and to the Department for Work and Pensions and continued to receive benefits he was not entitled to, totalling £8,168.
Magistrates sentenced Parker to a conditional discharge for 24 months and ordered him to pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £15 to be paid at a rate of £5 per week. The Council, which brought the prosecution, will seek full repayment of the overpaid benefits.
Councillor David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Benefit fraud will not be tolerated by this authority and we will take robust action to protect our communities from those who cheat the system and honest taxpayers.”
“We are an enforcing Council and committed to ensuring these offenders are brought to justice. Benefit fraud is simply wrong and inexcusable behaviour.
“This prosecution, and others like it, sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate benefit fraud.”
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