Brighton benefits cheat spared prison

Posted On 20 May 2011 at 7:53 pm

A benefit cheat from Brighton has been given a suspended prison sentence for claiming more than £24,000.

Russell Dent, 51, of Greenfield Crescent, Brighton, admitted 11 counts of benefit fraud.

A judge at Hove Crown Court sentenced him to nine months in prison suspended for two years yesterday (Thursday 19 May).

The court was told that Dent made false statements and failed to declare changes in his circumstances.

Dent claimed more than £16,000 in housing benefit for a flat in Hollingbury Park Avenue for more than two years after he moved out of it and even though he was working.

Brighton and Hove City Council housing benefits team rumbled the fraud while carrying out checks.

They found that Dent was having his post redirected to his new home in Greenfield Crescent and was listed there on the electoral register.

He also fraudulently claimed £350 in council tax benefit and £7,494 in jobseeker’s allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Dent was ordered to carry out 240 hours community service and pay £5,360 costs.

He was also ordered to repay the fraudulently claimed benefits.

The council and the DWP jointly brought the case to court.

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