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A PAINTER and decorator has been convicted of fraud after illegally claiming benefits.

Aaron Levy, 34, claimed housing and council tax benefits to the tune of £7,500 – despite starting his own painting and decorating business.

Levy, who was living at Sussex Road, Petersfield, but has moved to Micheldever near Winchester, pleaded guilty to two offences at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court.

Levy had been claiming benefits from the council since 2005.

In 2006 he started his painting and decorating business and, between May 2007 and March 2008, just under £10,000 was paid into his bank account. Levy did not tell East Hampshire District Council about this sum of money.

As a result of this undeclared income, Levy received more than £7,500 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Levy was sentenced to a community order and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He was also ordered to pay back £7,500 in compensation to the council.

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