Richmond man sentenced for council tax fraud

Following an investigation carried out by Veritau, on behalf of Richmondshire District Council, Leon Bentley was ordered to repay the cash – and undertake unpaid work.

Bentley, aged 47, formerly of Bargate, Richmond, claimed council tax reduction – a means tested reduction based on household income – for a number of years.

An investigation into his claim was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, following information that he had carried out several periods of paid employment which he failed to disclose.

He failed to attend court on a number of occasions but finally attended Northallerton Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to all charges.

He had been awarded £1,574.88 in council tax reduction which he was not entitled to.

Bentley was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 80 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay compensation of £1,574.88 to Richmondshire District Council.

Richmondshire District Council spokesperson, Councillor Bill Glover said: “This is another good result in the fight on fraud against the public purse with what has been a protracted fraud. It shows that ultimately dishonesty does not pay.

“We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email .