Benefit fraudster ordered to pay back over £4,000

16:55 30 May 2014

Huntingdonshire District Council investigators uncovered the fraud.

Huntingdonshire District Council investigators uncovered the fraud.

Archant

A former Grafham man has been ordered to carry out community service and pay back over £4,000 in fraudulent benefit claims.

Colin Cragg, 51, of Hempfield Place, Littleport, was stopped by police while driving at 39mph in a 30mph zone in Peterborough on May 17. Officers found that a warrant had been outstanding for his arrest since a conviction for benefit fraud in August last year. He was then held in custody until May 20 for sentencing at Huntingdon Magistrates Court.

The court heard that Cragg had been found guilty of four offences of fraud dating back to 2012 at a trial on August 27 last year. However, he failed to surrender to be sentenced and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Investigators from Huntingdonshire District Council found that Cragg had begun claiming benefits in February 2012 for his home in Church Road, Grafham, after becoming unemployed.

He found work again in March that year, but continued to sign on. He then started a second job in July 2012 and again did not report his employment to the authorities.

As a result, Cragg – who failed to attend an interview at HDC’s offices at Pathfinder House or any of the court hearings – was overpaid £4,090 in housing benefit and council tax benefit between March and December 2012.

He spent four days in prison in Peterborough following his arrest. He also received a 12-month community order and was ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work, plus to pay HDC’s costs of £800. He will have to pay back the amount he defrauded in full.

INFORMATION: You can report fraud on the council’s confidential hotline on 01480 388188, through www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk or by emailing benefitfraud@huntingdonshire.gcsx.gov.uk.

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