Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Benefit fraudster falsely claimed more than £15,000 over seven years
A WORCESTER man has been handed a suspended prison sentence and been electronically tagged after admitting claiming more than £15,000 in benefits.
Darren Rone, aged 49, of Wheelwright Close was prosecuted following a joint investigation by Worcester City Council and the Department of Work and Pensions, in which it was found he had made false claims totalling £15,799.83 over a period of seven years.
He began to claim Incapacity Benefit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit in March 2005, and later claimed Employment Support Allowance, but failed to declare he was working for a number of employment agencies between 2005 and 2012 while continuing to make his claims.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at Worcester Magistrates Court on Wednesday, August 21, but claimed his benefit payments were not enough to live on due to his health problems so had taken sporadic work to supplement his income.
He was handed three concurrent three-month prison sentences, suspended for 12 months, and was also given a curfew banning him from leaving the house between 8pm and 5am.
He was electronically tagged and also ordered to pay back all the money he was paid which he was not entitled to as well as £100 costs.
The city council’s head of revenues and benefits Nick Jefferies said: “I am very pleased to see the court recognised the scale of the fraud in this case and imposed an appropriate sentence.
“We have a duty to protect public funds and benefits claimants also have a duty to notify us of any changes in their circumstances. I would also urge anyone who suspects someone of making fraudulent claims to contact us in confidence.”
Anyone claiming Housing or Council Tax Benefits who is unsure if they are still entitled to receive them should call Worcester City Council on 01905 822 744.
To confidentially report a case of benefit fraud to Worcester City Council call 01386 565 280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments are closed on this article.