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Three people have been prosecuted for benefit fraud by Lichfield District Council.
Andrew Jordan, 47, pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly making a false representation in connection with his claim to housing benefit at Burton Magistrates Court on May 2.
of School Lane in Chase Terrace (but now residing at Howdles Lane, Brownhills in Walsall), pleaded guilty
The court heard that the former resident of School Lane in Chase Terrace – who now lives at Howdles Lane in Brownhills – dishonestly inflated the amount of rent he was required to pay. He also submitted a form to the council, after he had left this address, which dishonestly claimed he still lived at the property, so that he could continue to receive housing benefit payments.
As a result of his actions, he was overpaid housing benefit of £3,303. He was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order and to pay costs of £450. The benefit fraudulently obtained will also have to be repaid in full.
On May 31, Nicola Emery, 31, of Tuppenhurst Lane in Handsacre, pleaded guilty to two charges of dishonestly failing to promptly notify Lichfield District Council and Department for Work and Pensions that she was living with a partner.
The court heard how the offence spanned two years and resulted in a total overpayment of £24,518. She was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and a 12 month supervision order. She was also ordered to pay £100 costs and repay the fraudulently obtained money.
Fifty-four-year-old Terence Franks, of Chestnut Lane in Clifton Campville, was found guilty on June 7 of two charges of making a false representation in connection with his claims to job seekers allowance and council tax benefit.
The court heard how he failed to declare that his wife held capital over the prescribed limit. As a result of his actions, Mr Franks was overpaid £666. He was originally offered an administrative penalty by both departments, rather than going to court. However, he refused to accept the penalty and the case was referred to Burton court.
He was fined £650 for each offence and ordered to pay £250 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. A total of £1,565.
Councillor Mike Wilcox, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said: “If you are claiming housing or council tax benefit, these recent cases highlight just how important it is to tell the council straightaway if your circumstances have changed.
“If you are worried about your claim, please contact our benefits team as soon as possible, so they can help to make sure you are claiming the right amount.”
For help and advice with housing or council tax benefit, call Lichfield District Council on 01543 308900 or email email@example.com.
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