Clampdown on benefits cheats

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 December 2010

CCE are holding £110,000 of the Fry's money

CCE are holding £110,000 of the Fry's money

Archant

FRAUDSTERS and benefit cheats are being targeted by Sedgemoor District Council – with hefty fines in store for those found abusing the system.

The authority has been operating a clampdown on false claimants, and last week conducted two successful prosecutions.

The first saw charges brought against a 33-year-old Burnham man, who had told benefits officers he had never received a £284 housing benefit cheque.

However, an investigation showed the man had cashed the cheque himself in Cash Converters – and although he initially denied the offence, he pleaded guilty to obtaining money by deception at Bridgwater Magistrates Court.

He was fined, and also ordered to pay court charges.

The second case saw officers probing claims that a home in Lympsham was standing empty, despite it being subject to a housing benefit claim.

Investigations revealed a 45-year-old Weston man had claimed £400 a month for five months after leaving the property.

Again, the offender was fined and ordered to repay the full amount, totalling more than £1,700.

A council spokesman said: “(We) will continue to bring such cases before the courts and remain committed to working with other agencies such as our colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions to bring the full extent of any fraudulent activity when prosecuting for benefit-related offences.”

More from Weston Mercury

Two hooded Weston-super-Mare robbers who held their victims at knife-point and threatened to ‘slice them up’ have been jailed.

Read more
32 minutes ago

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a firefighter? If so, there is an event next month which will be a great experience.

Read more
08:00

Drivers are having to take life-endagering risks due to high speeds in Yatton High Street, according to campaigners.

Read more
Yatton
Yesterday, 17:00

The English National Ballet will bring its Swan Lake performance to the West Country – and the Mercury is giving readers a chance to win tickets to see the show.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

An East Brent play park will receive a five-figure upgrade to improve facilities for children in the village.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:05

The collected 30 something’s were partying like it was 2002 at Bristol’s SWX on Friday as post punk rockers A returned to Bristol to play the whole of their seminal album Hi-Fi Serious.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:05

More than £200,000 has been spent by North Somerset Council on redundancy payments in 18 months.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

The plan to join up a walking and cycling route from Brean to Clevedon has moved a step closer.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

Venture into the wizarding world with the latest remake of one of J K Rowling’s books.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:56

A woman who has vowed to complete 40 outdoor swims in her 40th year is just three challenges away from hitting her target.

Read more
Weston-super-Mare

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists