Tracking down the fraudsters



Officers working for East Cambridgeshire District Council have notched up another victory over a benefit cheat in the courts.

Mario Oliveira, 39, from Soham pleaded guilty to charges brought by Anglia Revenues Partnership on behalf of the Council.

Mr Oliveira had failed to notify the council of changes in his circumstances when his wife had returned to work that meant he claimed thousands of pounds worth of housing and council tax benefit he wasn’t entitled to between May 2010 and January 2012.

Mr Oliveira was sentenced to a Curfew Order: (8pm 5am for 3 months) and he will be required to pay back the overpaid benefit to the Council of £6019.85 plus costs of £450.

Linda Grinnell, Head of Finance at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "Benefit fraud is not a victimless crime it is the taxpayer who has to pay for those who try to cheat the system. We hope the judgement acts as a real deterrent to anyone who thinks they can get away with claiming money they are not entitled to.

"We have a team of officers who are determined to track down anyone who is trying to defraud you and the District Council. Often it is intelligence led investigations which are the most successful and lead to the conviction of people who are breaking the law. I would encourage anyone who has information that someone is claiming benefits illegally to please let us know - you will be helping the Council and your Council Tax bill in the process. "

If you suspect someone is abusing the system, then please call free on the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 328 6340 or to discuss a suspected fraud with a Benefits Investigator, please call 01842 756516 in strictest confidence.