�800,000 fraud shocker
A SHOCKING �800,000 was recovered from more than 1,200 residents who fraudulently or wrongly claimed a council tax discount, writes Ima Jackson-Obot. An investigation by Brent Council involved visits to identify and investigate those who were incorrectly
A SHOCKING �800,000 was recovered from more than 1,200 residents who fraudulently or wrongly claimed a council tax discount, writes Ima Jackson-Obot.
An investigation by Brent Council involved visits to identify and investigate those who were incorrectly receiving the single person discount, which deducts 25 per cent off their bill.
In one case a resident claimed the discount under false pretences for 10 years.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, lead member for resources and deputy of the council, said: "Every measure will be taken to find those who attempt to defraud Brent and cheat those who work hard to pay their bills."
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Anyone who deliberately abused the system was made to pay back the full amount of money from the date their circumstances changed. This was part of an investigation by the Audit Commission's annual National Fraud Initiative (NFI) that helped trace �215 million in fraud, error and overpayments in 2008/2009.
It compares information held by council tax offices to the electoral register and passes on discrepancies to the council for further investigation. Brent was supplied with a list of 3,665 people in May 2009.
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