New Forest District Council has achieved a successful prosecution for thousands of pounds of council tax fraud at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on 23 April 2019.

The New Forest resident pleaded guilty to four offences committed under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) Regulations 2013.

The resident used statements and documents known to be false for the purposes of obtaining a reduction under the New Forest District Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme – a scheme to support those on a low income with paying their council tax.

This resulted in a Council Tax Reduction of £5,819.86 to which there was no entitlement.

As well paying back the £5,819.86, the resident was also ordered to pay a fine of £375 for each of the four offences, a victim surcharge (standard charge for all court cases) of £37, and the full costs to the Council of £3,244, within 28 days.

Ryan Stevens, Revenues and Benefits Service Manager at New Forest District Council, said “Reductions and benefits are there to help people who are genuinely in need. We are committed to fighting fraud and will take steps to deal with those that act dishonestly.”

If you wish to report Council Tax or Housing fraud you can do this by phoning the Council’s fraud hotline on 0800 085 1637 or via email at fraud@nfdc.gov.uk