Benefits cheat told to re-pay cash after string of offences

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An elderly man has been ordered to carry out community work after falsely claiming more than £4,000 in benefits.

Philip Spani, of Alfriston, pleaded guilty to offences of unfairly receiving Council Tax Benefit over a two-year period.

The 60-year-old was ordered to complete 100 hours of free work within the next year, pay Wealden District Council’s costs of £978 and repay all the outstanding Council Tax Benefit by Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on October 4.

Spani received £4,392.21 in Council Tax Benefit over a two year period, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to four offences of making a false statement when making an application for Council Tax Benefit and failing to declare his partner owned a house from which they drew rent.

Spani, of Burnt House, Dukes Green, also failed to declare the existence of three bank accounts and that he was receiving an annuity of £228.51.

The offences took place in July 2008. From then until December 2010 he falsely received Council Tax Benefit.