January 4, 2012 1.16 pm This story is over 149 months old

Man pleads guilty to £4k benefit fraud

Court hearing: A local man will have to undertake community service after taking over £4000 in benefits fraudulently.

A Lincoln resident will be undertaking 120 hours of community service after pleading guilty to four benefit fraud offences.

Stuart Espin fraudulently claimed £4,069.50 worth in benefit payments in both the City of Lincoln Council and North Kesteven District Council authority areas.

He was prosecuted by the City of Lincoln Council at Lincoln Magistrates Court, under the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

By using the new joint Revenues and Benefits Service between the authorities, it was discovered Espin fraudulently took £2,975 from the City of Lincoln Council and £1,094 in the North Kesteven District Council.

Martin Walmsley, Head of the Joint Revenues and Benefits Service for the two councils, said: “We have various checks and measures in our systems to make sure people are not fraudulently claiming benefits, and the joint Revenues and Benefits Service is helping with this, as we have a much bigger database and can cross reference more easily.

“Our joint service has been in place since June 2011, and the two local authorities involved are working together to improve working practices and provide a better service for our customers.

“The benefits system is there for people who need it, and anyone who abuses it will be investigated, which can lead to prosecution.

“I hope this serves as a reminder to anyone thinking of trying to gain monies they are not entitled to, that we will not turn a blind eye and the punishments can be severe.”

Source: City of Lincoln Council | Photo: Google Streetview