A York woman who was awarded free electrical goods via the council’s hardship scheme listed them for sale online before they were even delivered.
Abbey Dobson, 22, of Bentham House, Sowerby Road, Holgate, had applied for funds to buy the kitchen appliances from City of York Council’s financial assistance scheme.
But suspicions were raised by the store when the goods were delivered and Dobson refused the services of an electrician to wire in the cooker.
Employees of the store subsequently noticed the items for sale on Facebook.
An investigation by Veritau, the council’s fraud investigation service, revealed that the goods had been listed for sale before they had been delivered.
When interviewed Dobson admitted that she no longer required the items prior to their delivery and that she hadn’t declared this to the council or tried to return the items.
Dobson sold on the items to make a profit for herself.
Dishonesty does not pay
York Magistrates Court on Wednesday (June 8) heard that it was the first ever prosecution for fraud in relation to the hardship fund, which was introduced in 2013.
Abbey Dobson pleaded guilty to all charges. She was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to fully repay the council’s loss, and pay court costs of £250.
York council leader Cllr David Carr said:
This prosecution shows that ultimately dishonesty does not pay.