Benefit fraudster sentenced

A man who falsely claimed council tax reduction benefit while receiving rent from tenants at his Hazlemere home has been sentenced to a 12 month community order and instructed to pay over £1,000 in costs.

An investigation by Wycombe District Council’s Fraud Team found that between 2013 and 2015, Alex Slater had failed to declare that he had tenants living with him at his home on Holmoak Walk in Hazlemere. As a result Slater, now of Hastoe Park, Aylesbury, falsely claimed over £1,500 in council tax reduction benefit.

Slater, who has already paid back the amount that he had falsely claimed, was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 140 hours unpaid work and instructed to pay costs of £1,175. During sentencing, which took place on Wednesday 14 December 2016, the Magistrate took into account aggravating factors including the fact that Slater was a Wycombe district councillor when the offence was committed.

Cllr David Watson, Wycombe District Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: ''Falsely claiming for a benefit that you’re not entitled to defrauds the tax payer and means that there is less money available for those who are really in need. I hope that this sentence makes anyone trying their luck and putting in a false claim think twice about their actions and the consequences they could have.

"If you think that anyone is committing benefit fraud, report your suspicions on freephone 0800 015 8995 or email fraud.investigations@wycombe.gcsx.gov.uk. All calls and emails are treated confidentially."