Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 8970

Fraud Reports

Request

Could you please list the number of occasions a member of the public has reported to you that they believed a person (or persons) has been falsely claiming benefits or lying about their living circumstances to authorities between April 1, 2012 and April 1, 2014?

Could you please separate the data by tax year (so April 1, 2012 to April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014).

Could you specify what type of fraud the caller/person reporting the case suspected had been committed (ie. living with a partner but not informing authorities, sub-letting, lying about circumstances, council tax fraud etc).

Could you also explain what the outcome of each investigation was (ie. Whether the person was prosecuted for fraud, cautioned, had their benefits stopped or there was no further action).

Where people’s benefits were stopped could you detail how much money was saved by that action (where possible).
And finally could you detail how much the council has identified in benefits overpayments over each of the two financial years.

Response

Between 01/04/12 and 01/04/13:

90 cases of suspected fraud was reported by members of the public.

This can be broken down by the following types of fraud referrals:

Living together 35
Undeclared capital 1
False Declaration 3
Undeclared change of circs 13
Undeclared work 15
Non Residency 5
Right to Buy Fraud 3
Undeclared Non Deps 9
Undeclared Income 4
Fictitious Desertion 1
Sub-let 1

Of these cases:

Fraud not established 29
Case not accepted for investigation 40
Case dealt with by compliance visit 18
Fraud established 3

Of the Frauds established all 3 of them had Formal Cautions administered.


Between 01/04/13 and 01/04/14:

81 cases of suspected fraud was reported by members of the public.

This can be broken down by the following types of fraud referrals:

Living together 28
Undeclared capital 1
False Declaration 5
Undeclared change of circs 16
Undeclared work 3
Non Residency 7
Undeclared Income 8
Sub-let 7
Ficticious Desertion 2
Undeclared Non Deps 4

Of these cases:

Fraud not established 32
Case not accepted for investigation 39
Case dealt with by compliance visit 7
Pending Prosecution 1
Cases still open 1
Fraud established 1

Of the 1 cases of Fraud established a Formal Caution was administered