scales of justice (pic by Citizensheep)

A man from Wybunbury near Nantwich has admitted fraudulently claiming more than £8,000 in benefits while secretly drawing on his company pension.

Jack Parker, 63, of School Bank, Wybunbury, pleaded guilty to failing to notify of a change in his circumstances that would affect his entitlement to housing benefit, Council Tax benefit and jobseekers’ allowance.

Cheshire East Council is now taking steps to ensure Parker repays all benefits he fraudulently claimed.

Magistrates in Crewe heard Parker claimed housing benefit and Council Tax benefit from May 2011 and jobseekers’ allowance from July 2012, on the basis he was on a low income.

But investigators from the council’s benefit fraud team found he had started to receive an occupational pension.

Parker failed to report this to the council and to the Department for Work and Pensions.

He continued to receive benefits he was not entitled to, totalling £8,168.

Magistrates sentenced Parker to a conditional discharge for 24 months and ordered him to pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £15 to be paid at a rate of £5 per week.

The council, which brought the prosecution, will seek full repayment of the overpaid benefits.

Cllr David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Benefit fraud will not be tolerated by this authority.

“We will take robust action to protect our communities from those who cheat the system and honest taxpayers. Benefit fraud is simply wrong and inexcusable behaviour.

“This prosecution, and others like it, sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate benefit fraud.”

If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can ring the confidential freephone fraud hotline on 0800 389 2787.

You don’t have to give your name and your call will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Alternatively, you can report suspected fraud via the council’s website at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk

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