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‘Cheats will not be tolerated’ say Bromley council as man given 30 weeks prison-time for tax fraud

PUBLISHED: 13:02 24 May 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 24 May 2017

Bromley council offices

Bromley council offices

Archant

Fitzgerald Bruce, 45, claimed council tax support while owning two properties, one of which he received rent from

Bromley council warn “cheats will not be tolerated” as Anerley man sentenced to 30 weeks prison-time for tax fraud.

Fitzgerald Bruce, 45, of Foxley Manor, was sentenced on May 15 after pleading guilty to claiming council tax benefit/support when he had capital over the prescribed limit, in the form of another property he was renting out.

Mr Bruce denied that he solely owned the property he lived in and another in Casewick Road, Lewisham.

He provided a prepared statement via his solicitor and refused to answer any other questions. His statement stated that he owned approximately 30 per cent of the properties and made no gain from renting one out.

He received £6,719.60 in council tax support between August 25 2008 and April 1 2017. The full amount has been repaid.

Mr Bruce pleaded not guilty on his first court appearance, however on the day of the trial he changed his plea to guilty on all three charges and was sentenced, plus ordered to pay £2,000 in prosecution costs.

A council spokesperson said: “We welcome this result and the custodial sentence as it sends a clear message that fraud committed by these cheats will not be tolerated. This authority has a zero tolerance to fraud.

“Those who claim allowances, such as council tax support, to which they are not entitled, are committing fraud that represents a loss of income to the council. It is a waste of public funds meant for those in genuine need.”


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