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Penge council tax cheat posed as PASTOR to dodge bills

PUBLISHED: 11:22 26 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:22 26 May 2016

Bromley Magistrates Court

Bromley Magistrates Court

Archant

He was sentenced last week

A Penge man has been ordered to pay money back to the council after falsely claiming more than £2,600 worth of council tax exemptions through a number of means.

Samuel Veloso, 33, was investigated when an application for a secondary school place was received from an address in Malcolm Close where Mr Veloso had been claiming Single Person’s Discount (SPD).

Anti-fraud investigations discovered that in June 2011, the Brazilian citizen had submitted a false tenancy agreement in his name only to support his SPD application, despite his wife also living at the property.

Mr Veloso also claimed to be a pastor at a Baptist Church in Harlesden, to receive a form of council tax exemption known as religious disregard and also gave the council a false student certificate in 2012 to escape paying council tax.

He also applied for SPD in 2013 using the name Elton de Almeida Oliviera.

In court, Mr Veloso pleaded not guilty to three charges under the Fraud act of making false representations to make a gain for himself totalling £2,637.65.

He was found guilty at Bexley Magistrates Court earlier this month and sentenced to 51 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years.

The court also ordered Mr Veloso to complete 300 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £2,700 to Bromley Council at a rate of £350 a month.

As Mr Veloso, a Brazilian citizen, is currently subject to Immigration Control and has no recourse to public funds, the Home Office has been notified of the outcome of this case.

Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee said: “We welcome the outcome of this successful prosecution and the sentence imposed which shows that cheats who claim allowances that they are not entitled to will be punished.

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

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