Falsifying payslips to illegally claim £2,300 in Council Tax Support has cost a Central Bedfordshire woman more than that amount when she appeared in court. According to her declared earnings, Katherine Roberts, of Swift Close, Sandy has been paying a lower rate of Council Tax for over two years.
However, a comparison of the
figures she supplied to Central Bedfordshire Council with the details of
her earnings held on the HM Revenues and Customs database revealed a
The Council’s fraud investigators
subsequently established that between April 2013 and October 2015 the
43-year-old had provided 14 falsified payslips showing significantly
less than what she actually earned.
After pleading guilty to 9 charges
of supplying false information to the Council, Roberts was sentenced at
Luton Magistrates’ Court on 9 June.
She was handed a 12 weeks’
custodial sentence suspended for 12 months, with a requirement to
undertake 150 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to pay full
prosecution costs of £686.65 and a victim surcharge of £80.00.
Roberts also had to repay all of the Council Tax Support which she
Sentencing her, the Magistrates
said that they believed the offences were serious and sophisticated
enough to cross a custody threshold. They felt that a substantial degree
of planning must have gone into producing false
Councillor Richard Wenham,
Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said: “Council Tax Support is
there to help hard-working people who need it to cope financially; it is
not there to be abused in order to top up your income. “By fraudulently claiming you rob
the council and Council Tax payers of money that would otherwise have
been spent on vital public services.”
If you believe that someone is illegally claiming Council Tax Support then contact the council at
or call the council's confidential 24-hour telephone hotline on
0300 300 5476