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Clayton Brook chef in benefit fraud
8:00am Monday 28th January 2013 in News
A father has admitted claiming more than £3,600 in benefits he was not entitled to by failing to declare his earnings had increased.
Preston magistrates were told that Paul Fox, 43, of Woodfield, Clayton Brook, pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming the extra cash in housing and council tax benefits from Chorley Council.
They heard he had originally claimed legitimately for benefits for himself and his family based on his earnings as a chef.
However he failed to inform the council when he started to work extra shifts often earning double the wage he had declared on his benefit form.
Although Fox had accepted a formal caution from the council for an earlier similar offence, magistrates took into consideration his claim began as a legitimate one and he is repaying the overpayment.
He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.
Councillor Peter Wilson, who oversees benefits claims for Chorley Council, said: “Although Mr Fox’s initial claim was correct, his failure to report promptly a change in his circumstances means that as well has having to repay thousands of pounds in overpaid benefit, he also has a criminal record.
“I would urge anyone who is in receipt of housing benefit or council tax benefit to let us know of any changes in their circumstances immediately, we will find out and we will take you to court.”