20/04/2011 - Permalink

Benefit fraudster given custodial sentence

Related topics: Community

A 22 year-old Shropshire man was today (Wednesday 20 April 2011) sentenced to imprisonment by Shrewsbury magistrates for housing benefit and council tax benefit offences.

Simon Morgan, of Sycamore Way, Market Drayton, pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to notify Shropshire Council of changes in his circumstances in order to obtain housing benefit and council tax benefit, by failing to declare two separate periods of work.  He falsely claimed £1,075.31 from the council, which is currently being recovered.

At Shrewsbury Magistrates Court, Morgan was sentenced to 28 days custody for each offence to run concurrently with imprisonment for other offences for which he appeared before the court, and which totalled 112 days.

His case was investigated by Shropshire Council’s benefits investigation team and the prosecution was brought by Shropshire Council’s legal services.

Council Leader, Keith Barrow, who is also Cabinet member for resources and finance, said:

“Housing benefit and council tax benefit are funded by the taxpayer and Shropshire Council has a duty to protect this money.

“It is important that we take benefit fraud very seriously, and won’t hesitate to take legal action against those who try and defraud the benefits system which exists to help those in need.”

Shropshire Council encourages people to contact the Fraud Hotline on 0345 678 9033 or the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 328 6340 if they have any suspicions about benefit fraud being committed.