East Hull benefits scam: Man, 21, admits cashing fraud cheques
A MAN has admitted cashing altered benefit cheques as part of a scam operating in east Hull.
Billy Parker took other claimants' cheques, which had been changed to higher amounts, to be cashed at East Park Post Office.
He did it nine times, leading the Department for Work and Pensions to pay out £2,500 more than it should have done.
Parker, 21, is one of 26 people who have admitted being involved in the scam.
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They were caught after Operation Languish was launched by Humberside Police and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Parker, of New Bridge Road, also cashed a Jobseekers Allowance cheque for himself at the post office in Morrisons in Holderness Road, east Hull.
It had been changed from £106.90 to £395.97.
Prosecutor Debbie Sanders said: "The operation was launched in relation to manipulated cheques from a particular postcode area of Hull.
"He cashed a Jobseekers Allowance cheque that had been sent to him for a higher amount.
"He also cashed a cheque on behalf of another man, which is something the defendant did on eight other occasions.
"Cheques had been made out to other people and the amounts had been changed.
"He countersigned the cheques and cashed them for the higher amount."
Parker admitted two charges of fraud by false representation in when he appeared at Hull Magistrates' Court.
He committed the offences between October 2011 and February last year.
Scott Thomas Shepherdson, 23, of College Grove, admitted cashing five cheques he had been sent, which had been altered for higher amounts.
Ms Sanders said he had fraudulently gained about £1,500.
She said: "He told police he had heard people on the estate saying there was a man who would alter cheques. He admitted he met the man on the street to have the cheques altered and returned.
"He would not name the man because he said he didn't want to be a grass."
His solicitor Ben Hibbert said: "He saw an opportunity and took it."
One of the cheques Shepherdson cashed was changed from £59.54 to £370.55 in October 2011.
He admitted one count of fraud by false representation.
Parker was given a 12-month community order and must take part in 27 hours of activities at Humberside Probation Trust's senior attendance centre.
Shepherdson was given a 12-month community order with supervision and also must attend the centre for 27 hours.