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Council to write-off fraudster's debt of more than £50k
10:48am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
THURROCK Council has agreed to write-off a debt of nearly £54,000 owed by a fraudster.
The debt owed was racked up by someone fraudulently claiming housing benefit between April 2003 to April 2009.
Despite “intensive investigation” and various court and committal orders at Basildon Crown Court, the council claims it has “not been possible to trace the debtor”.
According to the Council’s Constitution, the write-off of any debt over £25,000 must be considered by the Council’s Director of Finance and Corporate Governance and the Monitoring Officer before it is approved by the Cabinet.
The exact value of the debt is £53,731.61 and will be paid for out of the council’s general fund.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Cllr Phil Smith, the portfolio holder for Central Services warned that the crook will be dealt with if caught. He said: “What we would like to assure residents is that although we are going to take this debt off the books, the debt will stay there.
“If that person is found to come back into our area we will pursue them.
“We’ve gone after them twice in the courts and we’ve won both court cases so it’s just a matter of if we catch them, we will get that money back off of them.”