Community order for man in benefit fraud
A VILLAGER has been ordered to do 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming over £8,000 in housing and council tax benefits. Don Bond, 61, of Warden Abbey Farm, Old Warden, was sentenced at Bedford Magistrates Court on Mon
A VILLAGER has been ordered to do 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to dishonestly claiming over £8,000 in housing and council tax benefits.
Don Bond, 61, of Warden Abbey Farm, Old Warden, was sentenced at Bedford Magistrates' Court on Monday after his case had been heard on February 15. He was also ordered to pay £300 towards the prosecution costs.
Magistrates were told that Bond's original claim for benefits stated that his only income was from job seekers' allowance.
But the court was told Bond then started work at Bedford College as a part-time lecturer and failed to declare his change of circumstances to Mid Beds District Council, which took out the prosecution.
Caroline Ryan, acting senior fraud investigator at the council, said: "The investigation began in order to establish how Bond was meeting the shortfall between housing benefit and the rent charge at Warden Abbey Farm. His response was that he was being helped by family and friends.
"Through Inland Revenue checks, we established that Bond was working part-time at Bedford College as a lecturer. He was interviewed under caution where he admitted working and not declaring the work to the council or Jobcentreplus.
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"We work regularly with partners, sharing information to catch out even the cleverest cheats, but we also need the help of our residents who can be our eyes and ears.
"If you suspect someone of benefit fraud you can let us know in the strictest confidence and we will investigate further.
"Benefit cheats cost all of us money. Why should they get away with it?"
Anyone with information about benefit fraud should contact the council on 08458 495150.