Benefit cheat lands £4,500 bill

Cross check with other records catches out local man

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A benefit cheat who failed to declare his employment, so he could keep collecting benefits he wasn't entitled to has been prosecuted by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Mark Barber, 38, of Lime Grove, W12, was working for nearly a year, between December, 2003 and November, 2004, but kept quiet in order to keep collecting benefit payments. His scheme came undone when checks between the department of work and pensions and the council's own records followed by a full investigation by Council Investigators revealed all.

Mr Barber appeared in West London Magistrates Court on 14 March, charged with offences under S112 (1A) Social Security Administration Act 1992. He was found guilty after a trial.
He received a Community Punishment Order for 180 hours, as well as a Compensation Order for £3717.58, plus Costs of £818.00.

The Council has a dedicated team of trained officers to investigate allegations of benefit fraud and, where appropriate, will prosecute those who claim benefits they are not entitled to.

To report a case of suspected fraud against Housing Benefits call the Fraud Hotline on 020 8753 1273 or log on to www.lbhf.gov.uk and go to "Report Benefit Fraud". All information is treated in the strictest confidence and you can remain anonymous if you wish.

April 3, 2006