Fraudster ordered to pay back £6,000

A fraudster claimed £6,000 in housing and council tax benefits while working in a restaurant.

Ray Edward Dingley, of Eton Hill, Baslow, admitted to two charges of falsely claiming benefits when he appeared in North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court.

The 49–year–old had first started to claim benefits in 2000, when he gave up his job in the restaurant industry to look after his two step children following a split with his partner.

However he failed to notify Derbyshire Dales District Council when he started to work as a bar manager at the Royal Oak, in Millthorpe.

Likewise, the authority were not made aware when he got married in June last year and was living with his new wife.

Between May 2, 2011, and February 27, 2012, he was overpaid £4,780 in housing benefits, and from May 2, 2011, to March 23, 2012, was overpaid £1,230 in council tax benefits.

A tip off alerted the council to the fraud.

Kevin Shillitto, prosecuting on behalf of the authority, said: “He was interviewed in County Hall, in Matlock.

“He said he had phoned the benefit office and was told to confirm that he was married in writing, which he did.”

The defendant he had noticed there was more money in his account than there was supposed to be, but did not do anything about it.

“He agreed it was wrong,” Mr Shillitto said.

“He knew he was in trouble and his wife didn’t know anything about it.”

Julian Hammond, defending, said: “He realised he should have notified the council and I think to a large extent the longer it went on the more frightened he was to say anything.

“I’m instructed that he’s paid £3,000 back.

“Mr Dingley has no previous convictions for dishonesty.”

Presiding magistrate Jill Leah ordered Dingley to pay a £120 fine, court costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £15.

She also handed him a collection order for the remainder of the money.

Before dismissing Dingley, Mrs Leah said: “We fully expect never to see you again.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council said: “The Benefit Fraud Team at Derbyshire Dales District Council works hard to catch anyone falsely claiming benefit. 

“Benefit Fraud is not a victimless crime – benefit thieves take money intended for the most vulnerable in our society and the district council relies on anonymous referrals from the general public to enable our staff to successfully investigate and bring those guilty of offences to justice.

“If you have any information about someone who is claiming benefit to which they may not be entitled you can report your suspicions on the Benefits Fraud Hotline on 01629 761 330. 

“Your call will be treated in complete confidence and you need not give your name.”