Benefit fraudster ordered to pay £4,500

Southend Council says it will crack down on benefit fraudsters

Southend Council says it will crack down on benefit fraudsters

First published in Local News by

A FRAUDSTER who moved house but claimed almost £4,500 in benefits on his old address has been ordered to pay it back.

Michael Laurenson-West, 69, of Chiltern flats, Coleman Street, Southend, admitted dishonestly failing to report a change in his circumstances and ten counts of dishonesty in retaining a wrongful credit when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on May 14.

He began claiming housing and council tax benefits in June 2010 when he was living at Southchurch Avenue but, after moving to Chiltern on October 31, 2012, bank statements show he continued to claim for his old address.

He was handed a four-week curfew, ordered to pay £100 costs and a £60 victim surcharge as well as having to pay back £4,465.55 of wrongly-received housing benefit.

The council’s Corporate Services director Sally Holland said: “Although the council is committed to paying benefits to those who are entitled, it also has a duty to protect the public purse and take action against people committing benefit fraud.

“It is an offence to commit benefit fraud and, as this case shows, repayment of benefit is not the only action that the council may wish to take.

“If anyone has suspicions over a person entitlement to benefit they can call the Corporate Fraud Investigation Team direct on 01702 215254, or e-mail counterfraud@southend.gov.uk.

“All information received is treated in the strictest confidence.”

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:52pm Fri 23 May 14

the25man says...

Good get more of them and make repay all the monies they are not entitled to.
Pity there are not more checks made and the rules for benefits hardened up.
Good get more of them and make repay all the monies they are not entitled to. Pity there are not more checks made and the rules for benefits hardened up. the25man
  • Score: 9

9:13am Sat 24 May 14

the citizen says...

Every Council benefit claimant should be regularly checked, rather than wait for people to have suspicions. Every employed person is supervised to make sure they are doing the work they are paid for..why not those in receipt of benefits? SBC must lose millions on inappropriate or fraudulent claims. Deal with these thieves, and then SBC can ease off on the genuine and those being subjected to bedroom tax, when there aren't enough suitable Council places available for people to downsize to.
Every Council benefit claimant should be regularly checked, rather than wait for people to have suspicions. Every employed person is supervised to make sure they are doing the work they are paid for..why not those in receipt of benefits? SBC must lose millions on inappropriate or fraudulent claims. Deal with these thieves, and then SBC can ease off on the genuine and those being subjected to bedroom tax, when there aren't enough suitable Council places available for people to downsize to. the citizen
  • Score: 3

9:15am Sat 24 May 14

the citizen says...

oh....and those caught scamming the system should have to pay back much MORE than just the amount they fraudulently received.
oh....and those caught scamming the system should have to pay back much MORE than just the amount they fraudulently received. the citizen
  • Score: 6

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree