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Benefit Cheats Warned by East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Benefit Cheats Warned by East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 7:15am 18th August 2010.

It's only a matter of time before you are caught.

This is the message being sent out to benefit cheats.

A total of 204 cases of suspected benefit fraud were reported to East Riding of Yorkshire Council's fraud investigation and enforcement unit between April and June 2010.

159 of the cases (77%) were accepted for investigation, which resulted in the council prosecuting four offenders, issuing eight formal cautions and 10 administrative penalties. 

Eighty-eight of the investigations are still underway.  The remaining 49 cases were dropped as  either no claim to benefit existed or the circumstances had alreday been declared.

Without these reports, and subsequent investigations, benefits totaling in excess of £33,000 would have been paid over the next 12 months.  

The council's fraud unit receives reports of fraud from several sources with around 45% coming from members of the public.  In addition data matching is quickly becoming a valuable tool to detect fraudulent claims.

Over the same period, nine criminals were convicted of benefit fraud offences committed against the council.  These nine cases identified overpayments amounting to £83,860.

Andy Hardy, fraud investigation and enforcement manager, said: "It is reported that welfare and tax credit fraud costs the taxpayer around £5.2 billion a year. 

Let's be frank -  the honest tax payers are the victims here.  It is my team's duty to protect the public purse and by working collaboratively with other agencies and the public we can reduce benefit fraud in our area.  Why should criminals get away with it?  Tell us your suspicions and we will investigate - give as much information as you can as it increases the prospect of a successful outcome."
 
Anyone who suspects benefit fraud in the East Riding area can call the 24-hour benefit fraud Hotline in confidence on 01482 394949, text 07786 200850, or email benefit.fraud@eastriding.gov.uk

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