Hastings Magistrates have given a Wealden resident a 12 month community order, requiring 120 hours of unpaid work, for fraudulently claiming benefits they were not entitled to.
Mr Stuart Jenkins (54), who gave an address at Nevill Road, Uckfield, pled guilty to committing fraud by dishonestly failing to disclose to Wealden District Council that his circumstances had changed when he received a substantial inheritance totalling £267,000. He falsely received Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefits totalling £4,907.66.
“This case serves as a valuable reminder to our residents of the importance of informing the Council of changes to their financial situation as soon as possible,” said Councillor Graham Wells, Cabinet Member for Benefits. “Our Officers will always show sympathy and understanding to those in difficult circumstances but it is a crime to claim benefits that you are not entitled to.”
Costs of £940 were awarded to Wealden District Council and Mr Jenkins was ordered to pay £60 victim surcharge. Mr Jenkins has since repaid the full amount he falsely claimed.
If you are in receipt of benefits and/or Council Tax Reduction and need to inform Wealden of a change in your circumstances you can call contact the Benefits team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, via the Benefits and Council Tax page of the Wealden website www.wealden.gov.uk or by calling 01323 443500.
Residents who have suspicions of any fraudulent activity are asked to contact the East Sussex Counter Fraud Hub on 0800 731 7039 or by emailing email@example.com . Visit their website, www.focusonfraud.co.uk for more information.