1,500 quizzed over benefits
More than 1,500 benefit fraudsters may have been uncovered
by council investigators.
Detailed inquiries have been going on into more than 18,000
people who claim housing and council tax benefits from Dartford
So far the investigators have identified 69 people falsely
claiming lower tax.
Another 17 people – all council tenants – may be fiddling their
Already the council should be able to raise an extra £29,000 in
council tax from fraudulent claimants and the full scale of the
fiddles is not yet known.
A report to the council’s audit committee reveals the four-month
investigation is continuing.
There are 13,981 people who have been claiming tax discounts as
A further 4,308 were under investigation for potential council
tenancy fraud. Of these, the vast majority were legitimate, but 92
cases needed further investigation.
The investigations began after the council became able to match
their records with credit reference data held by private
Separate reports into both the housing benefit and council tax
frauds are set to be discussed tonight.
The agency carrying out the assessments found 3,294 tax claims
about which they were suspicious.
The council’s anti-fraud team found many of the apparent frauds
were because residents had failed to update all their records.
It still left about 1,500 people who are continuing to be
investigated for tax fraud.
In the past year, seven fraud cases were taken to court. They
involved £226,558.08 in benefit overpayments.