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Woman fined for council tax discount fraud

Press Release   •  Apr 11, 2017 11:57 BST

A Radcliffe woman has been prosecuted for falsely claiming £642 in council tax single person’s discount.

Nicola Howarth’s fraud came to light when she made an application to buy her council house in Irwell Close, Radcliffe under the Right to Buy scheme.

She included her partner on the application and said he had lived there for at least 12 months. However, she told the council tax team that she lived alone, and her partner would be moving in within the next few days. A council investigation revealed that he had actually been living at the property for two years, during which time she had been claiming single person’s discount.

Howarth pleaded guilty to fraud on 5 April at Manchester Magistrates Court and was fined £166, plus costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £20.

A Bury Council spokesman said: “Council tax fraud deprives Bury of money needed to fund local services, and is unfair on the vast majority of people who pay the correct bill. People who make fraudulent claims should be aware that we will prosecute where appropriate, and this could lead to them getting a criminal record.”

Anyone who suspects that fraud is being carried out can report it anonymously at www.bury.gov.uk/fraud or call 0161 253 7437.

ENDS

Press release issued: 11 April 2017.