A Crowle man who falsely claimed £40,000 in benefits has been handed a suspended prison sentence and curfew.
Mariusz Zuk had claimed housing benefit, council tax benefit and employment support allowance that he was not entitled to over a five year period from 2008 to 2013.
Zuk was sentenced to eight months in prison (suspended for 12 months) with a six month curfew between 7pm and 7am, following an investigation by North Lincolnshire Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that revealed almost £40,000 of benefit fraud.
Mr Zuk initially pleaded not guilty, but on the morning of the trial, changed his plea to guilty to all five offences.
As a result of his failure to declare all his income, he falsely obtained:
Housing benefit of £19,976 between 8 September 2008 and 7 July 2013
Council tax benefit of £3,449 between 8 September 2008 and 31 March 2013
Incapacity benefit of £8,821 between 1 December 2009 and 28 November 2011
Employment support allowance of £6,941 between 26 March 2012 and 10 June 2013
The fraud came to light following a call made to the council by a member of the public. This is the council’s 28th successful benefit fraud prosecution since April 2014.
Coun Neil Poole, cabinet member for Policy and Resources at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We will continue to work with our colleagues at the DWP to tackle benefit fraud. People are claiming money that they are not entitled to and that is not right or lawful. We need your help to catch those responsible. If you suspect someone is falsely claiming benefit, please contact us in confidence by ringing the anti-fraud hotline on 01724 296666 or online at www.northlincs.gov.uk/reportfraud.”