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15th May 2013
Couple Prosecuted for Benefit Fraud
A joint investigation carried out by Ryedale District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has tackled a case of fraud in the Ryedale area.
Kimberley Robinson, 29, and Steven Robinson, 36, of Sinnington, were found guilty of fraud charges relating to the payment of benefits. Kimberley Robinson used her maiden name to claim benefits from Ryedale District Council and the DWP on the basis that she was a lone parent. Investigation revealed that she was married to Steven Robinson and that they had been living together for a considerable amount of time. As a result of failing to declare her true circumstances she received £13,741.50 in Housing Benefit, £2481.24 in Council Tax Benefit and £8345.37 in Income Support which she was not entitled to.
Throughout the time Kimberley Robinson claimed to be a lone parent her husband Stephen was in employment. In addition Steven Robinson created a false tenancy agreement that hid his presence in the household in order to deceive the council.
On 15/05/2013, Kimberley Robinson was sentenced at York Crown Court to an 18 month community order and 120 hours of unpaid work for claiming benefits to which she was not entitled. Steven Robinson received a sentence of a 12 month community order and 100 hours of unpaid work for creating a false document to aid his wife claim benefits.
Angela Jones, Business Support Manager at Ryedale District Council said, “This is yet another example of successful joint working with DWP which proves that Ryedale District Council takes fraud very seriously and perpetrators of fraud against the council should know that they run the risk of being prosecuted”
A spokesperson for Veritau said, “Ryedale District Council and the DWP have again worked together successfully to stop those who try to abuse the welfare system. No one should be allowed to obtain public money by providing false information to the authorities; the benefit system is designed to support those with a genuine need.
We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the hotline on 0800 174553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Failure to report change of circumstances leads to overpayment
Kevin Metcalfe (33) of Vicarage Lane, Sherburn, claimed Housing and Council Tax Benefit, based on his receipt of statutory sickness payments.
On his return to work he failed to notify Ryedale District Council and his Housing and Council Tax benefits continued to be paid into his bank account.
Ryedale District Council was made aware of the possible fraud following receipt of an allegation from the Housing Benefit Matching Service.
The allegation was investigated by Veritau on behalf of Ryedale District Council. The investigation found that Kevin Metcalfe had returned to full time employment following a period of sick leave and had not informed the Council of this change.
As a result of his fraudulent activity Metcalfe was overpaid £4,449.17 in Housing Benefit and £571.14 in Council Tax Benefit.
On the 26th April 2013 Kevin Metcalfe pleaded guilty to all charges put to him at Scarborough Magistrates Court and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service, to be conducted over 12 months and ordered to pay £485 in costs.
Angela Jones, Business Support Manager at Ryedale District Council, said “This sends a clear message that the council takes fraud very seriously and people should know that they run the risk of being prosecuted if they are not honest about their circumstances.”
A spokesperson for Veritau said: “People who are in receipt of benefits need to make sure that they report changes in their circumstances in a timely manner, otherwise they could face the consequences of the law. If a member of the public wishes to anonymously report fraud to the council then please call 0800 174553 or email email@example.com”.
26th September 2012
Council leader visits Veritau
In the latest in a series of visits to meet key services in York, Cllr James Alexander, Leader of City of York Council, this week visited Veritau.
Veritau has been working alongside the council’s Housing Department for the past two years to tackle housing fraud. To date we have assisted with the recovery of 25 properties and the blocking of 10 false applications for housing.
During the visit Cllr Alexander met with Max Thomas, Director of Veritau; Jonathan Dodsworth, Counter Fraud Manager and Richard Smith, Client Relationship Manager to learn more about Veritau itself and the services it provides.
Cllr Alexander, said: “With over 4000 people currently on the waiting list for council accommodation, I was keen to visit Veritau to learn about how their work helps with maximising the social housing available to us. They recently assisted the council in an illegal subletting case which was only the third such prosecution nationally and the only one outside of London, which just goes to show how important the work they complete is for York.”
Max Thomas, director of Veritau, said “City of York Council has a good track record with tackling fraud. In the last few years, Veritau has adopted a number of new and innovative measures to help identify and prevent fraud across the range of services provided by the council.
“Our aim is to work closely with council departments including benefits, housing and social care to ensure fraud is kept to a minimum. This approach is designed to help the council to maintain services at a time when budgets are under pressure. We were therefore very pleased to be able to meet with Cllr Alexander and to discuss our work and the steps which are being taken to combat fraud.”
11th January 2012
Veritau - North Yorkshire
Veritau is pleased to announce that we will be providing internal audit services to five of the North Yorkshire district councils from April 2012, namely Hambleton, Ryedale, Richmondshire, Scarborough and Selby. Services will be provided by a newly formed company called Veritau – North Yorkshire. Staff currently working with the North Yorkshire Audit Partnership will transfer to the new company on the 1st April.