A council tax fraud totaling over £2,800 across three properties and over six years has resulted in the buy to let investor being fined and forced to do unpaid work.
John Rangeley from Brandsby in Yorkshire has received a fine of £1,052, an order to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of so-called ‘rehabilitation activity.’
Rangeley pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud.
He had claimed single person discounts at three rental properties that he owned in York, and which variously ran between 2010-2016.
The fraud was uncovered and investigated by Veritau, York council’s fraud investigation service.
The two-year investigation into his claims for discounts was prompted by a member of staff who was suspicious when Rangeley rang the council to apply for a discount purporting to be a tenant rather than the landlord.
Veritau found that Rangeley had falsely applied for discounts at properties he owned which had more than one adult tenant living in them.
He was interviewed under caution twice and admitted that he had never lived at the rental properties in York, apart from a brief period in 2014. He admitted that more than one adult had been living at each of the three properties at any one time and that he falsely claimed single person discounts in his name.
He further admitted to providing the council with a forged tenancy in order to claim a discount, and to corresponding by email with the council while purporting to be someone else, without their knowledge.
As a result of his fraudulent activity Rangeley obtained £2,831.74 in discounts on his council tax accounts to which he was not entitled.
A council spokeswoman says: “This was a lengthy and serious case of multiple frauds against the council. Fraudulent claims of single person discount deprive the council and local residents of much-needed funds and can affect services.”