Benefits cheat fined and ordered to pay back more than £16,500

Benefits cheat fined and ordered to pay back more than £16,500

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James Preston

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Benefits cheat fined and ordered to pay back more than £16,500

A man from Maidenhead has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay back more than £16,500 in benefits he was not entitled to after a prosecution brought by the Royal Borough.

David Gibbons, 52, of Brunel Court, Sounding Arch Way, pleaded guilty at Slough Magistrates’ Court to four counts of dishonestly failing to declare a change in circumstances. The court heard Gibbons failed to declare capital he had while claiming housing and council tax benefits based on an employment support allowance.

He was overpaid a total of £16,582.68 between October 2012 and February 2014.

Gibbons was sentenced to a £500 fine for each offence and ordered to settle the overpayment and also pay £300 towards prosecution costs.

Cllr Simon Dudley, cabinet member for finance, said: "Benefit fraud of any kind will not be tolerated and any suspected cases will be thoroughly investigated and if necessary brought before the courts.

"Those who try to cheat the system – to the detriment of taxpayers and those who have a legitimate cause for a claim – will be pursued and brought to justice in the interests of protecting the public purse."

The case was the result of an anonymous tip-off and was part of a joint investigation with the Department for Work and Pensions.

The council’s confidential and free Beat the Cheat line for reporting suspected fraud is 0500 353300.

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