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Sandwell benefits cheats take £2m

Sandwell | News | Published:

Benefits cheats in Sandwell got away with nearly £2 million in overpayments after fiddling claims forms, it was revealed today.

Benefits cheats in Sandwell got away with nearly £2 million in overpayments after fiddling claims forms, it was revealed today.

Since April 1 last year, the council overpaid £1,816,140 in benefits after claimants filled out benefits forms incorrectly, figures revealed after a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

And chasing benefits cheats for repayment through the courts has cost the taxpayer more than £100,000 in the last two years.

The council spent £134,739 between April 1 last year and November 30 this year in court costs pursuing cases of allegedly overpaid benefits.

But in that same time frame, the council only recovered around a third of what they had overpaid.

Fraudsters found guilty in the courts of receiving overpaid benefits through filling out forms incorrectly paid back £667,312 to the council.

But finance boss Councillor Steve Eling said the authority cracked down on fraudsters and was one of the best performing.

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