Thursday, 15 January 2009

Conditional discharge for benefit fraud

Thanet district Council press release

A Margate man has been given a two year conditional discharge, after pleading guilty to benefit fraud.

David Machin (48) of Manston Court Road appeared before Magistrates in Margate on Monday (12 January) and pleaded guilty to two charges of making false representations to the Department of Work and Pensions and Thanet District Council.

He had savings, which at times, reached over £28,000, which he failed to declare, while receiving Income Support and Council Tax Benefit. The total overpayment between Janaury 2005 and November 2005 was £6,711.81 for Income Support and £174.24 for Council Tax Benefit.

The Council Tax Benefit overpayment has been repaid and Mr. Machin is in the process of clearing the Income Support overpayment, with around £4,000 now owing.

Due to health problems, the court decided that a Community Punishment Order would be inappropriate and he was given a conditional discharge for two years on each count to run concurrently.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Finance, Improvement and Customer Services, said: “This is sadly yet another reminder to people that they need to be completely honest when claiming benefits. All too often we see cases where people have failed to declare that they are working or living with someone, but this reminds people that if they have savings, these also have to be declared, as they can have an impact on the amount of benefits people receive.”

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