A Warrington woman who failed to declare she was living with her partner has been sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work after admitting council tax fraud.
Charlotte Wright, 31, of Maine Gardens, Warrington, made false representations to Warrington Borough Council that she was living alone when she was actually residing with her partner. She failed to disclose that her partner resided with her in her residence from 2013 until 2018 resulting in Miss Wright receiving council tax support up to £3,599.19 and single person discount up to £1,651.53.
Wright appeared before magistrates at North Cheshire Magistrates court on 24 March 2021 and pleaded guilty. The matter was adjourned until 16 April 2021 for sentencing when magistrates sentenced her to a 12 months’ community order, 20 rehabilitation days and 150 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay costs of £375 and a victim surcharge of £60.
Lynton Green, Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Corporate Services, said: “Council tax fraud is not a victimless crime – residents who dishonestly fail to inform us of how many people live at their residence not only make an illegal financial gain, but they can cause loss to another resident who genuinely needs council tax support.
“We strongly encourage all residents to inform us of any relevant changes to their living situation to ensure that council tax support can be given appropriately. If you suspect someone is committing council tax or benefit fraud, please report your concerns to us.”
For more information about benefit and council tax fraud, including how to contact the council if you suspect someone has committed fraud, visit warrington.gov.uk/fraud