MM* age 41, of 7 Foulkes House, Moseley Rd, Fallowfield, Manchester, was sentenced on 2nd November to 240 h…
MM* age 41, of 7 Foulkes House, Moseley Rd, Fallowfield, Manchester, was sentenced on 2nd November to 240 hours Community Service, for dishonestly obtaining housing benefit and job seekers allowance, amounting to£15,116.
Sentencing him, Judge Fawcus noted that not only had he stolen from the public purse, but he had also been employed by a public body, which increased the seriousness of the offence. He added that MM* was well educated and from a good background and that he should have known better.
The extent of the deception would normally attract a lengthy custodial sentence. In this case, however, his wife would also suffer and he would therefore impose the maximum community service order available to him.
MM* claimed housing benefit from Manchester City Council over a period of 14 months, claiming to be unemployed when in fact he was employed full-time by the Council as a Visitor Centre Assistant. Following an investigation by counter fraud officers from Manchester City Council he was arrested, charged with dishonestly obtaining housing benefit and dismissed from his job.
Councillor Claire Nangle, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Finance, said: ‘This man has been stealing from the people of Manchester and I am pleased that council staff have uncovered the deception. We are tightening up even more on benefit cheats and becoming more knowledgeable about all the tricks fraudsters use to thieve from the public purse. The message is clear: staff found cheating will be subject to disciplinary action and, as in this case, may well face dismissal.’
Richard Paver, City Treasurer said: ‘Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime, not only does it reduce the money available to those with a genuine entitlement, but also increases the burden on the council tax payer.’
Manchester has a Free Confidential Benefit Fraud Hotline which members of the public can use to report Benefit Fraud. The number is 0800 783 9668.
E-mail: r.kenned firstname.lastname@example.org /email@example.com
All Manchester City Council Press Releases are available here
* This report was altered in July 2009 to protect the identity of the convicted man.