|Council Tax Benefit Court Case|
|News - Community News|
|Tuesday, 21 August 2012 19:01|
Council Tax Benefit Court Case
A CARMARTHEN man has been fined £800 for fraudulently claiming Council Tax Benefit.
Ronald Kendrick pleaded guilty at Carmarthen Magistrates last week to two offences contrary to Section 112 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 of making false statements.
The court was told that Kendrick had been awarded Council Tax Benefit at Cilgwyn-Isaf, Trawsmawr, Carmarthen, on the basis that he and his wife were receiving DWP benefits and an occupational pension.
A file was raised in November 2011 as a result of the National Fraud Initiative data-matching exercise. This identified that Kendrick’s wife was receiving an occupational pension from Wolverhampton Council. It was confirmed that the pension had been paid since February 2005 into a bank account which had not been declared. Further enquiries revealed a number of other undeclared bank accounts.
The investigation also established that Kendrick owned a property in Harbone, Birmingham, which he had purchased in 1988 and had been rented out.
When interviewed, he admitted making false statements in order to claim Council Tax Benefit. As a result of the investigation, he was overpaid £11,495.42 Council Tax Benefit in total, but the offences prosecuted for were £8,285.26 for the period April 1, 2002, to 15th January 2012. The whole overpayment is recoverable.
Kendrick was fined £400 for each offence and was ordered to pay £625.24 costs and £15 victim surcharge.
Council executive board member for resources Cllr Jeff Edmunds said: “The council is keen that people who are entitled to council tax benefit claim what they are rightfully entitled to.
“But we are also determined to crack down on fraudulent claims. These offences take money from the public purse that could otherwise be used for funding essential services. It is taking money from every council tax payer.”
Members of the public can report any suspicion of benefit fraud in the county via the Carmarthenshire County Council Fraud Hotline 0800 – 801116 or via the council website.