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Bromley man's £4,000 council tax fraud exposed after his brother answered a tax query

PUBLISHED: 11:37 15 February 2017

Bromley Magistrates Court

Bromley Magistrates Court

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He claimed a single person discount even though his brother was living with him

A Bromley man has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting council tax fraud worth more than £4,000.

Ricky Wootton, of Timbertop Road, was sentenced at Bromley Magistrates Court on January 31 after pleading guilty to claiming a single person discount on his council tax even though his brother had been living with him since 2002.

The 50-year-old admitted he had dishonestly claimed the discount from Bromley Council, which amounted to £4,342 from August 2002 to December 2016.

The fraud only came to light after his brother answered a council tax query while Wootton was in hospital.

Wootton was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.

In addition, he was ordered to pay £350 towards prosecution costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee, said: “We take all fraud committed against this authority very seriously and welcome the outcome of this successful prosecution.

“Claiming allowances such as single person discount that people are not entitled to is fraud and represents a loss of income to Bromley Council. Fraud against Bromley is not tolerated as it wastes public funds that are meant for those in genuine need.”

Anyone with information about suspected benefit fraud should contact (in strict confidence) the Fraud Hotline on 0800 169 6975 or email audit@bromley.gov.uk

The council has also launched an anti-fraud App. Information is available at: www.bromley.gov.uk/fraud

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