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Saturday 17 December 2011

Cheshire East cracks down on £70,000 benefits cheat


A Cheshire East benefits cheat has been jailed after he was found guilty of fraudulently claiming nearly £70,000 over six years.

Following an extensive investigation by the Council’s benefit investigations team, Sohail Uddin, 41, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison (on Monday, December 12) at Chester Crown Court.

Uddin, of Delamere Court, Crewe, pleaded guilty to the charges on November 17.

The overpayment of £68,406 was in relation to offences committed against the Department of Work and Pensions and Cheshire East Council between January 13, 2003 and September 20, 2009.

Uddin fraudulently claimed income support, severe disablement benefit, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Cabinet member with responsibility for performance and capacity, said: “Cheshire East Council will not tolerate people shirking their responsibilities and cheating honest taxpayers. Such selfish fraudsters will be rigorously pursued through the courts and brought to justice.

“Benefit fraud robs hard-working communities of valuable resources needed to provide vital public services. Such criminal acts rob councils and the Government of hard-pressed funds that could be spent helping the most vulnerable and needy people in our communities.

“As a Council, we would not be serving taxpayers well if we did not take action against a selfish minority of people who try to dodge their responsibilities and defraud the public purse.”

The Council and the Department for Work and Pensions will seek to recover in full the overpayment of benefits to Uddin.

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