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Orpington resident found guilty of £1,400 council tax fraud

PUBLISHED: 09:30 28 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 28 December 2016

Bromley Magistrates Court

Bromley Magistrates Court

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Suspicions were raised when bailiffs spotted a man in the property

An Orpington resident has been found guilty of council tax fraud worth more than £1,400 following an investigation.

Nurah Agbalaya, of Brow Close, pleaded guilty at Bromley Magistrates Court on Wednesday, December 21, to defrauding Bromley Council of £1,402.78 of council tax from January 2013 to July 2016.

Agbalaya failed to inform Bromley Council that her sister and brother-in-law had moved into her property in 2013 and continued to claim a Single Person’s Discount.

She made two false declarations to Bromley Council after they moved in, stating that there had been no changes to her circumstances.

But suspicions were raised when bailiffs visited the address regarding Council Tax arrears and spotted a man in the property.

When Agbalaya was interviewed by officers from the council’s fraud team, she admitted that there had been other adults living in her house.

Agbalaya was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge of two years and ordered to pay £400 costs and £20 Victim Surcharge.

Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee, said: “We welcome the outcome of this successful prosecution which shows our determination to act against cheats who claim allowances that they are not entitled to.

“Fraud against Bromley is not tolerated as it is a waste of public funds that are meant for those in genuine need.”

Anyone with information about a 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. More information is available at www.bromley.gov.uk/fraud

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