Soham benefit fraud ordered to pay back the �6,000 he cheated from the taxpayer

A FRAUDSTER who cheated the taxpayer out of more than �6,000 in housing and council tax benefit has been ordered to pay it back.

Mario Oliveira, 39, from Soham, failed to tell East Cambridgeshire District Council that his wife had returned to work and continued to claim the money.

He will have to repay �6,019.85 which he illegally claimed from the council and pay costs of �450. He was also sentenced to a three-month curfew order after admitting benefit fraud.

Linda Grinnell, Head of Finance at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime – it is the taxpayer who has to pay for those who try to cheat the system.

“We hope the judgement acts as a real deterrent to anyone who thinks they can get away with claiming money they are not entitled to.

“We have a team of officers who are determined to track down anyone who is trying to defraud you and the district council.

“Often it is intelligence-led investigations which are the most successful and lead to the conviction of people who are breaking the law.

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“I would encourage anyone who has information that someone is claiming benefits illegally to please let us know - you will be helping the council and your council tax bill in the process.”

Oliveira continued to claim the illegal benefit from May 2010 until January 2012. The prosecution was brought by Anglia Revenues Partnership on behalf of the council.

• To report someone you suspect is abusing the system, call the free National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 328 6340 or to discuss a suspected fraud with a Benefits Investigator, please call 01842 756516 in strictest confidence.