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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Double fraud case in York

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3:31pm 11th April 2012

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

First Case

Laura Clegg, aged 19, of 33 Carrfield, York was found guilty of benefit fraud at York Magistrates Court on 5th April for failing to declare employment at a local pub whilst in receipt of benefits, and therefore receiving £2,937.50 in benefits that she was not entitled to.

Miss Clegg had worked at the pub for approximately nine months whilst claiming benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and City of York Council.

Miss Clegg pleaded guilty to all charges and was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £75.

Second Case

James Smith, aged 38, of 103 Lindsey Avenue, York was found guilty of benefit fraud at York Magistrates Court on 5th April for failing to declare employment with two different companies whilst in receipt of benefits and therefore receiving £3,634.15 in benefits which he was not entitled to.

Mr Smith had deliberately overlapped his paid employment with benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and City of York Council. This is his second prosecution for the same type of offence, his last being in 2007.

Mr Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a curfew order for six weeks between 8pm and 5.30am and ordered to pay costs of £100.

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 claiming more than they should.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the member of the public who brought the fraud to light. 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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