Benefits Cheat from Shepherd's Bush Sentenced

Lewis claimed thousands in benefits despite large inheritance

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A benefits cheat from Shepherd's Bush who failed to declare a £100,000 plus inheritance has been sentenced to a 12 month community order.

Roy Lewis, of Roseford Court, Shepherd's Bush Green, dishonestly received £9,931.42 in benefit claims over an 18 month period – and at one point used undeclared savings to pay for an £11,000 BMW whilst on benefits.

His actions were uncovered during a joint investigation by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which led to Lewis pleading guilty to two benefits offences.

The 49 year-old, who had been claiming housing and council tax benefits since April, 2001, was found to have had access to a number of joint accounts and sole named accounts that had not been declared to the council. He also failed to declare them to the DWP for periods in which he claimed Job Seekers Allowance.

Investigating officers discovered that, in November 2009, inheritance from his late mother’s estate totalling £103,682.64 was credited to one of the undeclared accounts.

After pleading guilty in March to two charges of failure to declare a change in circumstances that would affect benefits, Lewis was sentenced at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court on April 22 to a 12 month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £400 costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

Andrew Hyatt, tri-borough head of fraud, said: " The council’s corporate anti-fraud service is committed to catching benefit cheats who think it is acceptable to rip off the taxpayer. This kind of dishonest behaviour will not be tolerated and offenders will be found and brought to justice."



May 12, 2014