Friday, 18 September 2009


A Margate man, described as a "defrauding sponger" by the courts, has been sentenced to a 12 month Community Order.

In a joint prosecution undertaken by Thanet District Council and the Department of Work and Pensions, Richard Rogers (34) from Swinford Gardens was ordered to do 220 hours of unpaid work and was also ordered to pay £100 costs.

He pleaded guilty to receiving Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support on the grounds that he was a single parent.

In fact, he had been living with his partner since the birth of their daughter and she was working part-time at a local supermarket.

Between February 2006 and October 2007, Mr. Rogers was overpaid more than £14,000 in benefits, with an overpayment of £8,036.96 in Housing Benefits, £1,327.01 in Council Tax Benefits and £4,815.20 in Income Support.

Cllr. Simon Moores, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: "This case sends out a strong message to those who think they can get away with benefit fraud. The timing of this case is particularly appropriate, in the light of the Audit Commission's new report, which reveals that Council Taxpayers could be losing almost £2 million each year to fraudsters, in circumstances similar to this case, where they are claiming they're living alone. Thanet will not tolerate benefit fraud. It's stealing from every honest citizen who pays Council Tax and, where we discover it, we will take vigorous action."

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