Abattoir worker guilty of benefit fraud

By on 11/06/2010 in News

A benefit fraudster from Tyseley yesterday (June 10) became the latest to be prosecuted by Birmingham City Council after claiming almost £7,000 that he was not entitled to.

Mohammed Banaras, 34, of Reddings Lane, pleaded guilty to benefit fraud worth a total £6,980 from the public purse and was sentenced to a 12-week suspended prison sentence, suspended for 12 months during which he is to do any work, courses or programmes that the probation service see fit.

He was also asked to pay £650 costs and will be required to repay the benefits in full.

The court heard that Banaras presented his claim to benefit saying that he was a tenant. However, his claims were a false as he was not a tenant at all but a family member in his brother's home.

He was caught by the city council investigators after they looked into the facts behind his claims for Housing Benefit.

Banaras would not have been entitled to any Housing Benefit had he told the truth, and he pleaded guilty in court to two offences under the Social Security Administration Act.

He had been due to be sentenced on June 2 but the hearing had to be adjourned because he turned up late for court because he believed the hearing was scheduled for the afternoon and not the morning. It was also decided that the hearing could not take place because he was unsuitably dressed – in stained clothing from his job as an abattoir worker.

John Turner, Business Manager for Birmingham Audit at Birmingham City Council, said: “Since April this year alone we have taken legal action against 120 fraudsters and this case demonstrates our commitment to drive down the levels of benefit fraud across the city.

“We want people to have their rightful entitlement to benefit but those committing fraud will be rooted out.”

If anyone suspects someone of committing benefit fraud they should call the city council Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0121 303 9990.

All calls are confidential and callers can remain anonymous if they wish. Benefit fraud can also be reported online. To find out more information visit: www.birmingham.gov.uk/bhamaudit

ENDS

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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