March benefit cheat must repay �7,000 to Fenland District Council

A MAN from March has been ordered to repay nearly �7,000 to Fenland District Council after being found guilty on two counts of making a false representation to obtain benefits.

With the help of a data matching exercise conducted by the Audit Commission, Fenland District Council identified that it had been paying housing benefit and Council Tax benefit to Edward Sabin since November 2006 while he had been receiving a previously undeclared pension from the London Borough Council of Newham.

Council investigators had discovered that 68-year-old Mr Sabin, now of Chandlers Way, March, had been investigated for the same offence in 2001 when Newham Council found that it had overpaid him more than �5,000 which he had had to repay.

During the trial at Wisbech, magistrates were told that, as a result of failing to declare the pension to Fenland District Council, Mr Sabin was overpaid �5,636.98 in housing benefit and �1,346.43 in Council Tax benefit between November 2006 and April 2009. He will have to repay it in full.

Mr Sabin told the court that he didn’t believe that FDC needed to know about his pension when calculating how much benefit he was entitled to. But magistrates said they did not find him a credible witness. They fined him �300 and awarded the council �500 towards its costs.

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