Issued by City of York Council
An investigation carried out by City of York Council and the Department for Works and Pensions has helped to tackle a case of fraud in the city, sending a strong message to fraudsters that dishonesty does not pay.
Philip Coppard, aged 55, formerly of Fourth Avenue, York, was found guilty of benefit fraud at York Magistrates Court on 18 June 2013 for failing to declare his earnings. As a result of this failure he received £2,686.10 in housing benefit and £5,260.77 in employment and support allowance to which he was not entitled.
Mr Coppard had been working as a bus driver earning over £350 most weeks whilst continuing to claim benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and City of York Council.
A joint investigation into the benefit claims of Mr Coppard was conducted by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, and the Department for Work and Pensions following information that he was in employment.
Philip Coppard pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to a 12 month supervision order, residing at a rehabilitation centre.
A spokesperson for Veritau, who investigate fraud on behalf of the council, said, “City of York Council and other agencies – such as the Department of Work and Pensions – work hard to prevent and detect fraud in the benefit system. We strive to hold those that abuse welfare system accountable and take them to court to be prosecuted where necessary.
“We encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity, be it benefit fraud, housing fraud or anything else relating to council funds to phone the hotline on 01904 552935 or email [email protected].”
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