West Sussex fraudster who lied to council is convicted

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A PENSIONER was convicted of swindling more than £8,000 in benefits.

Eric Clark, 75, was overpaid council tax benefit of £6,435 and pension credit of £1,713 from October 2003 to November 2012.

Clark, of Manor Lane, Selsey, claimed council tax benefit and pension credit, but failed to notify both Chichester District Council and the Department for Work & Pensions that he had three pensions paid into a bank account that had also not been declared for benefit assessment purposes.

At Worthing Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to notify a change of circumstances and retaining a wrongful credit.

He was given a two-year conditional discharge.

The authorities will seek to recover all the overpaid benefit.

Councillor Tony Dignum, in charge of finance at Chichester District Council, said: ‘Benefit fraud is a very serious crime and we will prosecute those people guilty of it. When making a claim, all income and capital has to be declared.’