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£1.5m Benefit Fraud Uncovered In Coventry

Benefit officers in Coventry say they have saved £1.5m this year by tackling fraudsters and sending them to court.

The claim follows the latest successful prosecution when a person was convicted by city magistrates for falsely claiming housing benefit.

Officers realised that the name of the landlord on an application was false, and it was in fact their partner who owned the address.

In December Malcolm Parkhouse McHale was sentenced to 21 months’ after admitting eight specimen charges of false accounting. In total he received more than £40,000 to which he was not entitled.

He continued to claim income support, housing and council tax benefit for five years despite being in full time employment.

Cllr John Mutton, cabinet member (Resources), said Coventry City Council is determined to stamp out abuse in the city.

He said:

”There are a very small minority of local people who commit benefit fraud and we are determined to identify them.

“We are responding to government calls to prosecute fraudsters and a tightening sanctions against the perpetrators.

“The city council has around 20 cases waiting to go to court and apart from the savings that we make when we complete a successful prosecution, it sends a clear message that we will continue to rigorously monitor those claimants who try to exploit the system.”

Cllr Mutton said that genuine claimants who were not receiving their full entitlement were also being encouraged to come forward.

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 6 Feb 01
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