A Stockport woman has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining benefit totalling £35,000 - she failed to declare that there was a working partner in the household.
In Northern Ireland a man has been sentenced to six months in prison for benefit fraud. He claimed Income Support and Housing Benefit totalling £5,676 while failing to declare he was living with his partner. On the mainland he would probably have been told to do unpaid work.
In Hebden Bridge a 74-year-old man received almost £150,000 in income support and tax rebates while earning £60,000 a year. His frauds began in 1995 when he was freed from prison for theft and possessing illegal tobacco. Despite that, his benefit fraud continued for 11 years. The DWP says it will pursue the case to retrieve £1 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act, including not only the £150,000 fraudulently claimed, but also any profit made from investing the illegally received cash.
Finally, Broxbourne Council tells us fraud investigations in 2007/08 uncovered over £240,000 benefit overpaid to people not entitled to the benefits they were claiming.
Some cases involved pensioners who had failed to declare assets held in undeclared Bank accounts resulting in no entitlement to benefits claimed, including one case with an overpayment of over £45,000. These cases normally arise from Government-driven data matching exercises.Good, but with the help of computer voice analysis software Harrow detected £363,000 of benefit fraud, and Lambeth £450,000 in five months. In the Lambeth pilot, 22% had their benefits stopped or cut, while Harrow reported that after they started the trial more than a quarter of claimants said they did not need the benefits as their conditions had changed.
Another case arose as a result of a joint investigation with the DWP whereby a person claiming council tax benefit had failed to declare from 1996 that he owned commercial premises and rent from the flat above, creating an overpayment of over £10,000 plus DWP benefits. As a result of a further investigation by a Financial Investigation Unit, he has been ordered to repay all benefits including the cost of free school meals claimed from Hertfordshire County Council. Should he default on this payment he will return to the Crown Court to receive a sentence of imprisonment but will still have to repay all money owing.
So Broxbourne probably has some way to go.