Bromley resident denied false claims but was found guilty
Published Wednesday, 17 July 2019
A 37-year-old woman from Rangefield Road, Bromley was convicted of four charges of Council Tax Benefit/Support fraud and was sentenced to 40 weeks custody, suspended for 24 months on 1 July, 2019.
Ms Mason-James is also required to pay £520 towards prosecution costs and repay Bromley Council a total of £7764.71.
The offences were falsely claiming Council Tax Benefit/Support totalling £5,636.83 between 2015 and 2018 as a lone parent when in fact her husband was living with her and claiming a Single Person Discount totalling £2,127.88.
Ms Mason-James denied living with her husband during an interview with Royal Borough of Greenwich investigators, who work in partnership with Bromley Council, and so attended trial at Bexley Magistrates Court on the 10 June 2019 where she was found guilty of the four offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and the Social Security Administration Act 1992 as amended.
The District Judge commented that Ms Mason-James showed no remorse in having offended for some seven years and acknowledged that these cases are difficult to investigate and prove and that the sentence should act as a deterrent.
Councillor Neil Reddin Chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee said: “Not only did this person defraud the council of taxpayers’ money, but she showed no remorse when she was found out. 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.”
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