28 people to appear at Hull court over suspected benefit fraud scam
POLICE have charged 28 people after a major investigation into a suspected benefit fraud scam in Hull.
The suspects will all appear at Hull Magistrates' Court later this month.
The charges come after a lengthy investigation by detectives from Humberside Police and the fraud investigation department of Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions.
As previously revealed in the Mail, 38 people were questioned as part of the inquiry.
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A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "There will be 28 prosecutions, all of which will start at Hull Magistrates' Court."
Most of the defendants have been charged with committing fraud by false representation.
Others have been charged with supplying articles intending them to be used in fraud and money laundering.
A source close to the inquiry said: "The investigation was centred around whether people were altering benefit cheques and cashing them for a higher value than the original amount.
"Clearly, there are a lot of people involved in this."
During the investigation, 17 people were arrested, 18 were interviewed voluntarily and three serving prisoners were also quizzed.
Officers from the Park neighbourhood policing team carried out a series of arrests in east Hull in July last year following months of investigations into the suspected fraud. Undercover officers from the force were also involved in tracing suspects.
Jobcentre Plus is the Government agency responsible for advising and assisting benefit claimants. It also administers claims for Income Support and Jobseekers' Allowance.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "We have been working closely with Humberside Police on this operation.
"Anyone who suspects someone is fraudulently claiming benefits can call our National Benefit Fraud hotline. Calls are treated in total confidence."
Eleven of the defendants will appear in court on Monday, five on Tuesday and 12 on Wednesday.
Call the National Benefit Fraud hotline on 0800 854440.