Whitby man convicted of council tax fraud

Thursday, 9 March 2023

A 68 year old man from Larpool Crescent, Whitby has been convicted of council tax fraud after cheating the public purse out of almost £2,500.

An investigation into Colin Clarke’s claim for local support for council tax was conducted by Veritau, our fraud investigation service.

The investigation began after we discovered he had received more than £40,000 from a private pension pay out, which he failed to declare to us.

As a result of his fraudulent activity, Mr Clarke was awarded £2,433.75 in council tax discounts during a period of two years that he was not entitled to.

During the course of the investigation, Mr Clarke was asked to give his side of events but failed to attend multiple interviews arranged for him and did not cooperate with the investigation.  

On Tuesday 7 March Mr Clarke pleaded guilty to all charges at Scarborough Magistrates Court. He was fined £120. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and court costs of £461.

Anyone with information on fraudulent activity against the council should contact the fraud hotline by email to counter.fraud@veritau.co.uk or call 0800 9179 247.

Councillor Janet Jefferson, cabinet member for corporate resources, said:

"This is another result in the fight on fraud against the public purse with what has been a protracted fraud committed by Mr Clarke.

"For all the residents that make genuine claims and keep us up to date with their changes in circumstances, there will always be people that don’t. This case acts a reminder that anyone receiving council tax discounts should report relevant changes to us as quickly as possible.

"To protect the interests of all council tax payers, we will always look to take action against people who have been found to commit council tax fraud."