Fraud case success for council legal team

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SCARBOROUGH Council’s counter-fraud team has been praised following the successful prosecution of a benefit fraudster who has been jailed for 15 months.

The court heard that Elaine Hetherington, 53, of Colescliffe Crescent in Scarborough, falsely claimed nearly £100,000 in Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support, having lied on a succession of forms since July 1995

Hetherington, who pleaded guilty to nine charges relating to dishonestly claiming the cash, posed as a single parent, hiding the fact her husband lived with her and was working full-time.

This is the latest success for the council’s fraud investigation and legal teams.

A spokesperson from the council’s counter-fraud team said: “We have brought several cases recently where we have worked jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions investigation team. These are big cases and their success is a testament to a strong commitment to working together.”

The council’s head of finance and asset management, Nick Edwards, said: “There is a clear moral duty to investigate benefit fraud. This crime is committed against local residents, as it reduces the money available for projects that support the local community and takes funds away from people who most need them.”

Anyone suspecting fraud can call the free fraud hotline on 0800 0568154.