Housing benefits cheat failed to declare job

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Posted on: 23/04/2012 13:54 by Janet Reynolds
Link: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/housing_benefits_cheat_failed_to_declare_job
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Twickenham resident Andrew Randell has been charged with cheating Richmond Council out of over a thousand pounds in housing benefit payouts he wasnít entitled to, as he was receiving a salary.

On three different occasions Mr Randell failed to attend cautionary meetings with the Council to discuss the matter, and as a result the Council was left with no alternative other than to summon him to appear in court.

Mr Randell, of Heath Road had received over £1,232.75 in overpayments after he started working. He pleaded guilty and was fined £145 to cover the Councilís cost towards prosecuting the case, a £15 victim surcharge and the entire overpayment amount.

Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, Richmond Councilís Deputy Leader, said:

ďAs everyone is aware, money is incredibly tight in local government at the moment. Mr Randell knew he was cheating the system, and if he didnít, he had the opportunity to explain himself, but he ignored the Councilís letters. It may seem like a small amount to worry about, but it all adds up and we cannot afford to be subsidising residents who have the means to pay their own way.

Let this be a warning to other benefit thieves out there, we are on the case, donít think that the rules donít apply to you or that you wonít be caught. We will always seek to prosecute those who think they can cheat the system while others, who are in genuine need, have to scrimp and save. Equally, whenever we uncover it we will do our utmost to recover the amounts which have been falsely claimed.Ē