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£40,000 case of fraud in York

City of York Council

3:17pm 17th July 2012

An investigation carried out by City of York Council, the Department for Works and Pensions and North Yorkshire Police has helped to tackle a substantial case of fraud in the city.

Lisa Farrow, aged 32, of Fifth Avenue, York had been claiming Income Support, Housing and Council Tax Benefit for a number of years as a single parent.

In October 2008 a referral was received from City of York Council by the Fraud Department alleging that Lisa Farrow ‘s husband, Mark Farrow, was living with her and that he was working.

As a result of this, an investigation into her claim for benefits was instigated. The investigation was conducted jointly with the Department for Works and Pensions.

The investigation uncovered the fact that Lisa Farrow was indeed living with her husband Mark and that they were both running a successful self employed business known as MF Tree Services. Examination of bank statements revealed in excess of £40,000 passing through the account, which could not be accounted for, but it was believed to be earned income from the business.

North Yorkshire Police assisted with the investigation into this case arresting Lisa and Mark Farrow at their home and conducting a full evidential search of the property. 

The fraud took place from July 2006 to October 2010 and as a result of her fraudulent activity Lisa Farrow was paid £27,274.88 in Income Support, £11,786.96 in Housing Benefit and £2,535.50 in Council Tax Benefit, all of which she was not entitled to.

Both Lisa and Mark Farrow declined to cooperate throughout with the investigation.

In court, Lisa Farrow pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 24-weeks custody, suspended for two-years, and ordered to do 200 hours Community Service.

A spokesperson for Veritau said:

“We would like to thank the police for their assistance in this case. This is another excellent result for a very serious fraud against the public purse. 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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