Council prosecutes residents for benefit fraud

20 Apr 2015

Stevenage Borough Council has successfully prosecuted Alexandra Satchell of Sloan Court and Scott Turner of Bandley Rise for benefit fraud.

Miss Alexandra Satchell, 32, failed to declare to Stevenage Borough Council that her earnings had changed and that she was in receipt of Working and Child Tax Credits. This resulted in Miss Satchell being overpaid £1,563.48 in Housing Benefit and £77.85 in Council Tax Benefit from 11 April 2011 to 8 April 2013. She pleaded guilty to two offences and was ordered to pay back the overpayment, fined £55 for each offence, contribute £300 towards prosecution costs and pay a £20 victim surcharge.

Mr Scott Turner, 43, failed to let Stevenage Borough Council know that his circumstances had changed and he was now in paid employment. This resulted in Mr Turner being overpaid £3,271.05 in Housing Benefit and £402.18 in Council Tax benefit from 6 January 2014 to 14 July 2014. He pleaded guilty to the offence and was sentenced to a 12 month Community Order requiring 80 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay back the overpayment, contribute £575 towards prosecution costs and pay a £20 victim surcharge.

Stevenage Borough Council’s Strategic Director Scott Crudgington said, “As these investigations have shown, we will not tolerate abuse of the benefits system and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those who make fraudulent claims.

“We need residents to notify us if their situation changes, don’t be tempted to keep quiet, it simply isn’t worth it.”

For information on council tax support and advice on entitlement, please contact the council’s Council Tax team on 01438 242242 or visit www.stevenage.gov.uk for further information.

- ends -