A TWICKENHAM man has been ordered to pay £600 costs and to carry out 150 hours of community service after falsely claiming £2,500 in benefits in just eight weeks.
Richard Walsh, 53, of Riverside Court in Heathcote Road, claimed the housing and council tax benefit from the council between June and July 2008 because he said he was unemployed. But Richmond Council later found out he had been working afterall.
Mr Walsh failed to attend any meetings with the council's anti-fraud team and did not turn up at court for his hearing. A warrant was issued for his arrest in May and he surrendered himself to the court on October 15, after being told about it when he contacted the council on another issue.
He was found guilty of failing to tell the council his employment status had changed on October 28. He was ordered to carry out the unpaid work, pay the costs and repay all the money his falsely claimed.
Deputy council leader Stephen Knight said: "There are a small number of bad eggs who try to beat the system and who think they would be able to get away with claiming benefits which they're not entitled to.
"The council's finances are not a never-ending pot of money and when we find people who claim for more than they should, we will push for them to be prosecuted and for the money to be recovered."