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Man obtained £4,400 from borough council by fraud

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A WARRINGTON man has been ordered to pay more than £1,000 in fines and costs after admitting obtaining more than £4,400 from the borough council by fraud.
Philip Duffy, 47, of Riversdale, Woolston, pleaded guilty at Warrington Magistrates Court to two charges of obtaining council tax support by fraud and two charges of obtaining discretionary awards by fraud.
The court was told Duffy was found to have dishonestly failed to notify the council of a change in circumstances – his wife’s income – which he wilfully knew would affect his council tax support.
As a recipient of council tax support, he dishonestly stated that the household income remained the same when his wife was receiving an income.
Failing to notify the council of the change also affected his discretionary award and, as the recipient of a discretionary award, he dishonestly made a false statement that the household income remained the same despite his wife receiving an income.
Duffy was found to have claimed £2,699.44 in fraudulent council tax support and £1,703.67 in discretionary award from the council.
He was fined £584 and ordered to pay £450 costs and a victim surcharge of £58. He was also ordered to repay the over-payments he had claimed.
After the hearing, leader of the council Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We work hard to ensure that people who legitimately need help paying their council tax, get the support they need.
“Having people abuse the system is grossly unfair on those who need a helping hand to pay their tax.
“Council tax is an essential part of how we continue to operate our most important, most highly-valued services and we rely on this income each year.
“I hope this sets the example that those who abuse the system will be held to account. Ultimately, the money we raise from council tax each year is for the benefit of the people of Warrington and the services we operate.”

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