Coun­cil team re­cover £350k from fraud­sters

Rochdale Observer - - CCTV RELEASED AS STUDENT JAILED OVER ONE-PUNCH KIL -

ROCHDALE coun­cil has re­cov­ered hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds from catch­ing fraud­sters.

The fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion team has re­couped £350,000 over the last 12 months. Nearly half of the cash came from re­cov­er­ing fraud­u­lently claimed hous­ing ben­e­fits and coun­cil tax sup­port, while more than £50,000 was re­claimed af­ter suc­cess­ful in­ves­ti­ga­tions into false busi­ness rate bills.

Of­fi­cers also un­cov­ered wrong­ful claims for blue badge dis­abled park­ing per­mits and busi­ness rate re­duc­tions.

More than 250 peo­ple across the bor­ough were in­ves­ti­gated for dis­hon­est claims in the last year, with 82 per cent of those found to be de­fraud­ing the coun­cil.

Pun­ish­ments in­cluded pros­e­cu­tions, cau­tions and fines.

Coun Allen Brett, leader of the coun­cil, said: “Hard­work­ing tax­pay­ers are sick of a crim­i­nal mi­nor­ity try­ing to make a quick buck by flout­ing the rules.

“These pros­e­cu­tions send a clear mes­sage that we sim­ply will not tol­er­ate any­one who tries to rip off the coun­cil.

“Our zero tol­er­ance ap­proach means that if you are try­ing to cheat the sys­tem we will find you and we will take ac­tion. I would like to con­grat­u­late coun­cil of­fi­cers for re­coup­ing this cash.”

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