A MAN failed to declare he had found work and love in order to falsely pocket thousands of pounds in benefits, a court heard.
And Mark Scott, of Wingrove Road, Fleetwood, claimed more than £7,000 in fraudulent benefits.
Scott failed to notify Wyre Council of his true marital and working status for two years.
The 33-year-old continued to claim single person’s housing and council tax benefits after marrying and finding work as a labourer.
Fleetwood Magistrates Court heard Scott had undertaken casual labouring work for six months without declaring he was employed.
He was overpaid a total of £7,033 in benefits over a two year period, from April 2009.
Alan Vincent, cabinet member for finance and council tax, said Wyre Council will come down hard on those committing benefit fraud.
He added: “We want to send out a message out to people who claim benefit they are not entitled to.
“We will not tolerate it and we will get on to them.”
Scott had notified Wyre Council of a change in living arrangements in 2011.
But during an investigation carried out by the council it was found he had lived with his wife for longer than stated.
He was also found to be working casually.
Scott was interviewed by council officers in April 2011.
Benefit payments to him were stopped the following month.
Scott pleaded guilty to benefit fraud at Fleetwood Magistrates Court.
He was sentenced yesterday to undertake an 18-month supervision order and to pay £100 costs.
Wyre Council have stressed that while sentencing may appear “lenient” they will endeavour to recover the overpaid benefits.
Funds will be deducted from Scott according to normal procedure.
Town hall bosses added that in all cases of benefit fraud prosecutions the council will seek to recover overpayments.
Mr Vincent said he was satisfied with the work of the investigation and the outcome of the prosecution.
He added: “We’ve got a very robust approach to fraud.
“He is not the first person to prosecuted and he certainly won’t be the last.”