Benefit Cheat Who Claimed £13,000 is Given Community Penalty and Fined £350

PUBLISHED: 09:24 02 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 May 2010

EAST Cambridgeshire District Council has issued a stark warning to anyone contemplating defrauding its benefits department - think again or face the legal consequences! Officers working at the Anglia Revenues Partnership notched up a successful prosecutio

EAST Cambridgeshire District Council has issued a stark warning to anyone contemplating defrauding its benefits department - think again or face the legal consequences!

Officers working at the Anglia Revenues Partnership notched up a successful prosecution last week as a fraudster pleaded guilty of four counts of failing to notify the council of changes in his circumstances that meant he claimed thousands of pounds worth of housing and council tax benefit he wasn't entitled to.

Christopher Clarke, 31, Cornfields, Burwell, claimed £13,000 in benefits he wasn't entitled to between August 2004 and June 2007 at Ely Magistrates' Court. Mr Clarke was sentenced to a Community Penalty of 120 hours of unpaid work and costs of £350.

The case was prosecuted as a result of partnership work, with benefit fraud Investigators working closely with government departments to conduct the thorough investigation.

John Kirk, fraud manager at Anglia Revenues Partnership, said: "The verdicts handed down by the magistrates this week, sends a strong message out to anyone who thinks they can get away with benefit fraud. This is not a victimless crime - it is you the taxpayer who has to pay for benefits cheats.

"We have a number of officers who are dedicated to tracking down anyone who is trying to defraud you and the district council. In this investigation we have seen that intelligence led persistence and partnership work has led to the conviction of people who are breaking the law."

INFO: fraud hotline on 0800 3286340 in strictest confidence.

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