Man behind Stourbridge £1.7k council fraud gets community service

First published in News

A MAN trousered £1,700 after making false benefit claims for a home in Stourbridge while he lived in Wolverhampton.

Martin Upton claimed the cash from Dudley Council after maintaining he was taking on the tenancy of the property in Ridge Grove, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Upton, aged 34, was ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work in the community.

Recorder Paul Stephens said: "You filled in the forms, you never moved in and you happily accepted the money."

David Payne, prosecuting, told the court Upton put in a claim for housing benefits for the property in having informed the council he was about to start the tenancy.

The council sent out four cheques totalling £1,700 and they were all paid into Upton's bank account who, it was discovered, was already picking up benefits for the property in Wolverhampton.

He was quickly rumbled by the authorities, added Mr Payne who went on, "It is not permissible to have two benefit claims going in for separate properties."

Upton, of Second Avenue, Low Hill, admitted four charges of fraudulently obtaining benefits and he was further ordered to pay £1,140 costs.

The recorder also ruled Upton, a man of previous good character, must pay back in full the money he fiddled from the council.

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