Villager admits benefits fraud

York Magistrates Court
York Magistrates Court

A villager has admitted benefit fraud amounting to almost £5,000.

Valerie Wright, 68, of Cherry Tree Court, Dunnington, claimed Housing and Council Tax Benefit as well as DWP benefits on the basis of her and her husband’s low income.

An investigation into her benefit claims was conducted by Veritau, the City of York Council’s fraud investigation service, and by the Department for Work and Pensions following information that she had failed to declare that her husband was working and that her claim was fraudulent.

During the course of the investigation Wright was interviewed under caution and admitted that her husband had been working and that she hadn’t declared this to the council or the DWP.

As a result of her fraudulent activity Wright was overpaid £1,038.48 in Housing Benefit, £294.94 in Council Tax Benefit and £3,417.66 in DWP benefits.

The investigation concluded on 31 March with Mrs Wright pleading guilty to all charges at York Magistrates Court. Besides continuing ongoing repayment arrangements, she was fined £120 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20.

Anyone with any information on fraudulent activity are asked to call the fraud hotline on 01904 552935 or email fraud@york.gov.uk.