Council in process of recovering nearly £300k lost to benefit fraud

Over £296,000 in benefits were claimed fraudulently or in error over the past year from West Dunbartonshire Council.

Their corporate fraud team identified the money as part of 228 referrals from members of the public, 199 of which had grounds to be investigated.

15 cases have been passed on to the procurator fiscal which has resulted in six people so far receiving a criminal conviction.

One person has been fined and a further five have been given community work orders.

Four more referred cases are yet to be heard.

Administrative penalties totalling £7,533 were issued in less serious cases.

As part of their investigation work, the team also prevented £734,118 being lost to the council through benefits, discounts, homeless accommodation and council tenancies.

A total of £7,754 in fraudulent claims was made to the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Three council houses were recovered from residents not occupying the property as their primary home. This meant the properties were freed up for genuine families in need.

Other work included 122 blue badges cancelled and fraudulent or incorrect claims for single person’s discount for council tax ended.



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