Fetcham Resident Charged for Council Tax Support Fraud
Mole Valley District Council has successfully prosecuted a woman from Fetcham for committing Council Tax Support fraud by failing to declare a change in her circumstances.On Monday 29 April, at Guildford Magistrates Court, the resident pleaded guilty to failing to inform Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) of a change in her employment and subsequent rise in earnings. She instead continued to receive Council Tax Support* to which she was not entitled over a five and a half year period.
Prior to her offence, she had been in receipt of financial assistance from MVDC since March 2012, due to being self-employed and on a low income. However, following an investigation and under interview by MVDC officers, she admitted that despite starting a full-time job some 12 months later, she continued to claim Council Tax Support and did not declare an increase in her earnings.
Between April 2013 and October 2018, she fraudulently received £7532.10 in Council Tax Support. The Court handed her a fine of £520. She was also ordered to pay MVDC costs of £550 and a victim surcharge of £52. MVDC has also been repaid the amount claimed by the resident in full.
Councillor Paul Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Finance & Organisation, said: "This unfortunate case highlights how failing to disclose to us an increase in income is likely to result in investigation and legal action. I would urge any Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit claimant to contact MVDC's Benefits team without delay if there is a change in circumstance. Those committing the offence are effectively depriving those most in need. Claiming benefit payments without entitlement will not be tolerated by MVDC."
If you suspect someone of committing Fraud against MVDC, please phone the Fraud Hotline, 01306 879284, where you will be able to speak to a trained investigator. All calls will be treated in a strictly confidential manner, and your identity will remain anonymous.