Benefit fraudster hid £150,000 from council
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal
A London welfare cheat hid a £150,000 inheritance windfall while fraudulently claiming £6,500 in housing and council tax benefits.
Carole Darling has become the 15th person to be successfully prosecuted for fraud by Richmond Council this year, after an anonymous tip-off alerted its internal audit and investigation team.
The 65-year-old’s case brought the total amount the council’s fraud team has identified in fraudulent benefit payments since April to £190,757 - breaking down to £145,410 in housing benefit and £45,346 in council tax benefit.
Darling will return to Richmond Magistrates’ Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to one charge of failure to notify a change in circumstance.
The council's deputy leader, Cllr Geoffrey Samuel, said: “The real penalty is for these people to be named and shamed in their local newspaper so the community will never forget their cowardice and utter contempt for Richmond’s taxpayers and our most financially vulnerable residents.
“Benefit cheats never cease to amaze me as to the depths of how low they are prepared to go. This kind of money - £6,500 to a vulnerable person is a tremendous amount – but to this individual it is a drop in the ocean compared to the money she has at her disposal."