Farnborough resident pleads guilty to council tax fraud

Published Monday, 5 March 2018

A Farnborough resident has been left counting the cost of falsely claiming a council tax single person’s discount for more than five years when she was convicted for council tax fraud.

Rosalynn Gallacher of Shurlock Drive pleaded guilty to one charge under the Fraud Act 2006 at Bromley Magistrates Court on 14 February 2018 and was fined £300, ordered to pay £550 costs at a rate of £100per month and a £30 Victim Surcharge to the Court

The issue of Freedom Passes data-matched against single person’s discounts revealed that Rosalynn Gallacher’s partner had been living at her address in Shurlock Drive for at least five years. In addition, Miss Gallacher’s landlord confirmed that her partner had been added to the household by Miss Gallacher herself in August 2012, though she had not notified Bromley Council of this change in her household composition.

Miss Gallacher was interviewed under caution by officers from the council’s Internal Audit and Anti-Fraud section on the 26 October 2017. She maintained that she should be entitled to a single person’s discount as she was single and not married to her partner.

However, she did agree she would have to repay any sums owed for failing to notify changes in her household since 2012. The council tax team considered the available evidence and withdrew the single person’s discount from 17 August 2012 creating an underpayment of £1,873 which was added to her council tax account and has now been repaid.

Councillor Neil Reddin Chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee said: “Having considered the available evidence it was agreed to prosecute Miss Gallacher for the single person’s discount offence. It is only right that we send out a clear message that fraud committed by cheats will not be tolerated. Those who claim for support they are not entitled to are committing fraud that represents a financial loss to Bromley Council. It is a waste of public funds that are meant for those in genuine need.”