A 49 year old man from Altrincham has been found guilty of housing benefit fraud Nicholas William Whyte, formerly of Barrington Road, Altrincham was convicted of dishonestly obtaining housing benefit of £461.50.

He was found guilty in his absence of failing to notify Trafford Council’s Benefits’ department of the fact he had stopped claiming Job Seekers Allowance and had commenced paid employment. As a result he was overpaid benefit between June and August 2006. He was sentenced at Trafford Magistrates Court to pay a fine of £390 and ordered to pay costs of £250.

The council’s counter fraud officers were alerted to the matter by a data matching exercise.

Executive Councillor John Tolhurst, said: “I hope this sends out a clear message that we will take action against anyone who scams or cheats the system to protect the public purse.

“If you suspect anyone of benefit fraud contact Trafford Council on 0161 912 2852 or via Freefone number 0800 328 6340.”