Man ordered to pay back £11k benefits
BENEFIT cheats are being warned to watch their backs after a Huntingdon man was ordered to pay back more than £11,000 to Huntingdonshire District Council. At Huntingdon Magistrates Court, Scott Du Cane Chamberlain, 30, of Lucas Court, Huntingdon, was als
BENEFIT cheats are being warned to watch their backs after a Huntingdon man was ordered to pay back more than £11,000 to Huntingdonshire District Council.
At Huntingdon Magistrates' Court, Scott Du Cane Chamberlain, 30, of Lucas Court, Huntingdon, was also sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years.
Chamberlain was found guilty in December of claiming housing and Council Tax benefits between September 2002 and July 2005 while failing to declare he jointly owned a property in Eaton Socon.
The court heard how Chamberlain and his wife had applied for benefits in 2002, claiming they had been made homeless. After being re-housed, Chamberlain continued to claim benefit and ticked 'no' to questions about ownership of other property when filing three separate claims.
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During a routine visit by council officers, it was found Chamberlain was the joint owner of a three bedroom house in Eaton Socon - a property he had owned since 1995 and had let to tenants.
Veronica Candy, prosecuting for HDC, said that Chamberlain's failure to report his ownership of the property had seen him paid £11,339.14 in unwarranted benefits.
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Chamberlain said he believed he had legally signed the property over to his father in 1997 and did not believe he retained an interest in the property after the 'transfer'.
Chamberlain was ordered to repay the benefit money and an additional £1,000 compensation to HDC. He was also given an 18 month supervision order with the probation service and ordered to undergo 30 days of supervised activity.
A spokesman for HDC said: "Those claiming benefits must make sure that they provide all the correct information or they run the risk of being prosecuted."
INFORMATION: If you know of someone you believe to be claiming benefits to which they are not entitled, contact the fraud investigation team on 01480 388480 or call the 24-hour fraud hotline on 01480 388188.