Benefit cheat, 60, sentenced after swindling Rochdale Council for more than £13,000 in housing fraud

By Danielle Wainwright

A fraudster who falsely claimed more than £13,000 in benefits in an elaborate Rochdale housing con has been sentenced.

Liam McGinty, 60, claimed £13,872.78 from Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council after using a friend to buy a Shelfield Lane property in Norden in 2003 with his cash for the deposit.

He then created a false tenancy at the house when he was in fact the owner of the property, and fraud investigators for the council soon became suspicious.

After investigating, they found that McGinty had transferred ownership of the house to himself in 2009 and provided false information to claim housing benefit which helped to pay the mortgage each month.

Councillor Jonathan Burns, assistant portfolio holder for finance, said: “This was a deliberate and prolonged attempt to defraud the Council, and therefore Rochdale residents, out of much needed resources.

“Whenever we hear of this kind of activity going on we will not hesitate to investigate and bring people before the courts to answer for their actions.

“When resources from any Council are drained in this way it affects the services the Council can provide to the Borough.”

Mr McGinty originally pleaded not guilty but later changed his plea. He pleaded guilty to two counts of benefit fraud under the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

He has since repaid the benefit amount he falsely claimed and has been given a community order consisting of 140 hours unpaid work, a six month Supervision order and £250 in costs.

He was sentenced on Friday at Manchester Crown Court.

Picture courtesy of images_of_money, with thanks.

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