Council tax fraudster forced to pay back almost double

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New Forest District Council has welcomed the tax fraud prosecution

A MAN who defrauded New Forest District Council out of thousands of pounds in a tax reduction scam has been forced to pay out almost double the amount.

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The outcome of the case against David Williams (71), of Mortimer Close, Calmore, has been welcomed by NFDC, which said he had abused a system set up to support people in genuine need of financial support.

Appearing before Southampton magistrates, Williams changed his pleas to the four fraud charges to guilty, having previously denied each of them.

The charges related to offences committed between February and June 2017 under the council tax reduction scheme (detection of fraud and enforcement) regulations 2013.

Three of the offences involved the defendant failing to declare bank accounts, the Bench heard.

On the fourth occasion he had falsely claimed monthly debit payments of £200 were going towards a car loan when, in fact, they were going into an undeclared account in his name.

Having already been forced to fully reimburse NFDC for the £5,819.86 reduction to which he was not entitled, Williams was fined £375 for each of the four offences and ordered to pay £3,281 in costs.

Speaking after the sentencing, NFDC said Williams had used statements and documents he knew were false to obtain a reduction under its council tax reduction scheme, set up to support those on a low income in paying their council tax.

Ryan Stevens, NFDC revenues and benefits service manager, said: “Reductions and benefits are there to help people who are genuinely in need.

“We are committed to fighting fraud and will take steps to deal with those that act dishonestly.”

To report council tax or housing fraud, phone the council’s fraud hotline on 0800 085 1637 or email fraud@nfdc.gov.uk.

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