Benefits cheat admits false claims to council for £1,799

A BENEFITS cheat who used taxpayers money to pay for his own rent and Council Tax has been fined £4,500. Stuart Mason, 52, of Station Road, Foxton, admitted eight charges of making false claims for benefit and failing to report changes in his circumstanc

A BENEFITS cheat who used taxpayers' money to pay for his own rent and Council Tax has been fined £4,500.

Stuart Mason, 52, of Station Road, Foxton, admitted eight charges of making false claims for benefit and failing to report changes in his circumstances, when he appeared at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Mason ran a property lettings company, Prime Property ­­Man-agement, and will writing business, Prime Wills.

The court heard how Mason used £100,000 from the sale of a property to finance his businesses, but did not declare his work when claiming benefits. He was overpaid £1,799 by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The fraud was discovered by Council Tax officers, who were given an address for Prime Property Management by a member of the public vacating a property which matched an address where benefit was being paid.

An investigation found that the two properties and businesses belonged to Mason.

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Cllr Vicky Ford, portfolio holder for resources, said: "This is one of the largest fines handed out to a benefit cheat in South Cambridgeshire, and I welcome the message this sends."

Mason was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay a further £591.20 in costs to the district council.