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£11,000 case of fraud in York

City of York Council

11:23am 25th May 2012

An investigation carried out by City of York Council has helped to tackle a substantial case of fraud in the city.

Mr Kevin Benson, aged 37, of Lindsey Avenue, York was found guilty of benefit fraud at York Magistrates Court on 17 May for failing to declare that he was living with his partner, Mrs Wendy Dack, as though they were husband and wife, and therefore receiving £11,043.36 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Mr Benson and Mrs Dack had been living together at Mr Benson’s property since 2006 without declaring this to the council. Mr Benson was receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance and Housing and Council Tax benefits based on there being no additional income coming into the household, however Mrs Dack was working full time and responsible for all the utilities at the property.

Mr Benson pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £600. The court had to take into account the length of time and deliberate nature of this fraud as well as Mr Benson’s previous convictions for other offences.

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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