Dunstable woman found guilty of fraud for making false council tax benefit claim

A Dunstable woman who falsely claimed a council tax reduction on the basis she was unemployed was sentenced to a fine of £568, ordered to pay a contribution towards costs of £1,146.87 and a victim surcharge of £57, at a total cost to her of £1,771.87 at Luton Magistrates’ Court today (27 January 2021)

Susan Cashman, 57, of Winfield Street, Dunstable claimed she was unemployed in July 2016 but, following an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council, it was found that she had failed to notify the council when she found work after two months and continued to claim a discount to which she was not entitled, for over three years.

Cashman fraudulently claimed a £3,049.56 reduction in her Council Tax bill between 2016 and 2020, that she would not have received, had she made Central Bedfordshire Council aware of her employment.

In addition to the fine, she is required to repay the money she falsely claimed.  Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr David Shelvey, said: “People like this, who try to fraudulently abuse the system for their own financial gain are putting their own greed ahead of the needs of vulnerable people. Cases like this show that we can catch these fraudsters and we will pursue them.”