Three sentenced over 'systematic' east Hull benefit fraud scam
THREE people have been sentenced for taking part in a "systematic" benefit fraud scheme.
They are part of a group of 27 people who have admitted their involvement in the scheme, which is thought to have netted about £40,000.
Michael Ben Ostler, 25, admitted paying to have three cheques altered and cashing an altered cheque on behalf of someone else.
Ostler, of Wansford Grove, east Hull, had three cheques for £106.90 changed to about £270 more each time in December 2011.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
District Judge Frederick Rutherford said: "He is not the prime mover. He is one of those tempted by the offers made by those offering this service.
"His motivation was gain, influenced by the time of year. He was tempted and saw it as an easy way of raising funds just before Christmas, but it was part and parcel of a larger matter he was aware others were involved in."
Ashley Jordan Borrill, 20, had one cheque changed from £10 to £390.66 on December 24, 2011.
Borrill, of Falkland Road, east Hull, admitted fraud by false representation.
Judge Rutherford said: "This was a single offence and he was taking advantage of the general situation that was occurring in that area as a group fraudulent activity."
All of the group were caught during Operation Languish, which was launched by Humberside Police and the Department for Work and Pensions.
They would pay an unnamed man to increase the amounts on benefit cheques they had received.
Most of the cases involved people living on the Preston Road estate and happened between October 2011 and February last year.
All the cheques were cashed at the East Park Post Office in Morrisons supermarket, Holderness Road, or at the loan company H Stanley.
They found out about the scheme by word-of-mouth around the estate.
Donna Walker, 42, gave her daughter Kayleigh, 23, a cheque, which she then paid to have altered.
The court heard the cheque sent to Donna Walker was £137.52, but was cashed by her daughter for £374.55.
Donna Walker, of Braemar Avenue, north Hull, admitted supplying an item to be used in fraud. A warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to turn up at court to be sentenced.
Kayleigh, of Harpham Grove, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Ostler was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and must pay £100 costs.
Borrill was given a 12-month community order with 50 hours of unpaid work and must pay £100 costs.
A warrant was issued for Mark William Taylor, who was due to be sentenced for one charge of fraud but failed to attend court.