Benefit fraudsters cost Tower Hamlets �300,000 in six months

Benefit fraudsters have cost Tower Hamlets council more than �300,000 in the last six months.

Figures released by the council show that there have been 22 criminal convictions for making fraudulent claims in the borough since the start of the financial year in April, with 53 other sanctions imposed.

There were also more than �862,000 worth of fraudulent claims made in the previous financial year.

Recent cases include a couple who made more than �31,000 worth of false claims for housing, income support and council tax benefit. Both were sentenced to five months in prison, although the sentence was suspended in the case of one of the offenders.

A council spokesperson said: “The council takes fraud very seriously and has robust procedures in place to ensure the benefits system supports only those people who have a genuine need.”