Jail for �1,000 benefits fraudster

AN EATON Socon benefit cheat who claimed nearly �1,000 while working for a recruitment company has been jailed for 28 days.

Stephen Clare, 24, of Monarch Road, claimed jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit between April and July last year, but a Huntingdonshire District Council investigation revealed that he had been working at the same time.

Clare, who pleaded guilty to two charges of benefit fraud when he appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court on August 9, had been overpaid �967 in various benefits.

The bench told him he would face a prison term as he had failed to repay any of the money he had falsely claimed and had refused to cooperate with the council’s investigation and the probation service. He was sentenced on each charge to 28 days, to run concurrently.

Clare is the latest person to be brought to court following an exercise conducted by the council to identify people who claim benefit, but register for work through employment or recruitment agencies but fail to declare their work.

Since June 2010, more than 70 cases of people working and claiming have been investigated, with nearly �60,000 of benefit payments stopped or recovered.

INFORMATION: If you know of someone who is claiming benefit they are not entitled to, contact the council’s confidential fraud hotline on 01480 388188 or e-mail fraud.team@huntingdonshire.gov.uk