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Year's jail for fraud who stole £45,000

PUBLISHED: 18:49 06 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 11 August 2010

A BENEFITS cheat who defrauded the taxpayer out of £45,000 has been sentenced to a year behind bars. Edward Meredith, 46, of Holgate Road, Dagenham, was claiming income support, incapacity benefit and housing and council tax benefits when he started work

A BENEFITS cheat who defrauded the taxpayer out of £45,000 has been sentenced to a year behind bars.

Edward Meredith, 46, of Holgate Road, Dagenham, was claiming income support, incapacity benefit and housing and council tax benefits when he started work as a warehouseman in April 2003.

Instead of telling the council or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about his change of circumstances he continued to claim benefits.

He also submitted fraudulent applications to renew the benefits he was not entitled to.

His crimes came to light when the DWP realised Meredith had not declared his employment.

Together with the council's fraud team, they launched an investigation which uncovered a fraud of £45,000, spread over four years.

After he failed to appear at Barking Magistrates Court last September a warrant was issued for Meredith's arrest.

Meredith pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on March 20.

Judge Hughes said the fraud was so serious a custodial sentence was the only option and sentenced him to 12 months in prison.The court heard Meredith intends to pay back the money he owes.


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