Ramsey man admits benefit fraud

A RAMSEY man faces a possible jail sentence after admitting benefit fraud totalling nearly £20,000. Michael Getchell, 52, of High Street, entered guilty pleas to six counts of benefit fraud between 2002 and 2005. A seventh count was dropped by the prosecu

A RAMSEY man faces a possible jail sentence after admitting benefit fraud totalling nearly £20,000.

Michael Getchell, 52, of High Street, entered guilty pleas to six counts of benefit fraud between 2002 and 2005. A seventh count was dropped by the prosecution at Peterborough Crown Court.

Getchell, who had pleaded not guilty to all seven counts at an earlier hearing, changed his plea at a pre-trial review. The court heard that Getchell had admitted defrauding Huntingdonshire District Council of £19,333 between January 2002 and November 2005 by failing to declare that he was running a business between those dates, as well as holding a number of bank accounts that he had not declared when he claimed housing and Council Tax benefit.

Adjourning the case to January 11 for pre-sentence reports, the judge told Getchell that he was considering custody.

INFORMATION: If you know someone who is claiming benefit when he or she is not entitled to it you can contact HDC's fraud investigation team on 01480 388480 or call the 24 hour confidential fraud hotline on 01480 388188. You can also report fraud by e-mail to FraudTeam@huntsdc.gov.uk or by visiting the council's website www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk. All calls received will be dealt with and treated in the strictest confidence, the council promises.

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