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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Two cases of fraud in North Yorkshire

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3:44pm 7th November 2011
(Updated 3:45pm 7th November 2011)

A joint investigation carried out by City of York Council and the Department of Works and Pensions has helped to tackle a case of fraud in York.

Colin Stansfield (aged 54) of Calf Close, York, failed to declare that he was self employed as a paint sprayer, whilst claiming Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

The case was picked up from an anonymous call to the fraud hotline.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Department for Works and Pensions and Veritau, a specialist company which investigates fraud on behalf of City of York Council.

As a result of his fraudulent activity Mr Stansfield was charged with defrauding the Department for Works and Pensions of £15,111.60 in Income Support, City of York Council of £9,088.90 in Housing Benefit and £1,968.88 in Council Tax Benefit.

The investigation concluded with the defendant pleading guilty to all charges at York Magistrates Court today (7th November 2011.)

He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for two-years plus 12-months supervision order.

A spokesperson for Veritau said:

“We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the hotline on 01904 552935 or email fraud@york.gov.uk”

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Benefit fraud case by Ryedale District Council

Neal Wilson, 48 was found guilty of falsely claiming Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance at Scarborough Magistrates Court on Friday 4th November 2011. 

He claimed £4300  in benefits he was not entitled to. He pleaded guilty and received a 12 month community order and was ordered to do 50 hrs of unpaid work.

Wilson, of Malton, had been claiming Housing and Council Tax benefit on the basis that he had no other income other than his Job Seekers Allowance.

Ryedale District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions fraud teams were alerted that Mr Wilson had in fact,  been in paid employement since 2009 which he failed to declare.

A spokesperson for Veritau, who investigate fraud on behalf of the council, said:

“The council encourages all who need financial support to claim the benefits they are entitled to. But this case highlights what happens when people abuse the system by failing to declare changes in circumstances or making false statements when applying for benefit.

We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the hotline on 0800 174553 or email counterfraud@ryedale.gov.uk"

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