Lichfield District Council probe leads to two benefit fraud prosecutions

Two people have been prosecuted for committing fraud after investigations by Lichfield District Council’s Benefit Investigations Team.

In the first case, 51 year old Karen Godderidge, of Allton Avenue in Mile Oak, pleaded guilty to ‘making a false declaration’ in her claim for housing and council tax benefit.

On July 29, Tamworth Magistrates’ Court heard how Mrs Godderidge failed to declare that she received a student bursary. Had this been declared, she would not have been entitled to either housing or council tax benefit. As a result, she received £1,462 in benefits, which she now has to pay back to the council.

The court fined Mrs Godderidge £130, and ordered her to pay costs of £400 and a £15 victim surcharge.

In the second case, heard at Tamworth Magistrates’ Court on August 6, Brian Rogers pleaded guilty to two charges of ‘dishonestly making a false declaration’ when claiming housing and council tax benefit.

The court heard how 60-year old-Mr Rogers, of Schoolfields Road in Shenstone, had failed to declare that he received a civil service pension. As a result, he received £3,755 in housing and council tax benefit that he was not entitled to. He will now have to repay the full amount to the council.

The court gave Mr Rogers a 12 month community/supervision order, a three month curfew (between 7pm and 7am), and ordered him to pay costs of £200.

Councillor Michael Wilcox, Cabinet Member for Finance, Revenues and Benefits for Lichfield District Council, said:

“These cases show how seriously we take benefit fraud. It’s really important to tell the benefits team if your circumstances change. It could be anything – from recently getting married through to receiving more tax credits – remember to report any changes straightway.“ 

To find out more, please visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/changes or, to report a change in your circumstances, call Lichfield District Council on 01543 308900 or email benefits@lichfielddc.gov.uk.

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