Bromley couple convicted of benefit fraud after running undeclared business on eBay

Bromley couple convicted of benefit fraud after running undeclared business on eBay

Bromley couple convicted of benefit fraud after running undeclared business on eBay

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A Bromley couple has been convicted of benefit fraud after failing to declare income from a business selling second hand clothes on eBay.

Merisha Aldrich, 41, and Martin Ayres, 49, of Bromley Gardens, were convicted Bromley Magistrates Court on Tuesday July 22.

A fraud investigation began after an anonymous tip-off and it was revealed the couple had undeclared bank accounts and income from the online enterprise.

Ms Aldrich had also received Housing and Council Tax Benefit since April 2002, though in January 2009 told the council her partner was now living with her.

It was found the pair had been overpaid £9,493.18 in Housing Benefit from January 2009 to December 2013 and £1,721.17 in Council Tax Benefit between January 2009 and April this year.

Both Aldrich and Ayres pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to a 12-month Community Order with 180 hours of unpaid work. They were also ordered to pay £400 costs.

Chairman of Bromley’s audit committee Councillor Neil Reddin said: "This case demonstrates the importance of the public raising concerns, which in this case has led to these cheats being prosecuted.

"We must ensure that public funds are safeguarded and only used for those in genuine need."

Comments (6)

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11:24am Fri 1 Aug 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Crime pays don't it? What sort of sentence is that? How about making them pay the £9,493.18 and £1,721.17 back to the coffers that all decent folk have paid into to keep them in the lap of luxury?
Crime pays don't it? What sort of sentence is that? How about making them pay the £9,493.18 and £1,721.17 back to the coffers that all decent folk have paid into to keep them in the lap of luxury? sarfflondonbird
  • Score: -5

12:13pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Gypo.Joe says...

£11K and change, is that your idea of the lap of luxury ?


They should have to pay it back though I agree with you there.
£11K and change, is that your idea of the lap of luxury ? They should have to pay it back though I agree with you there. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 8

12:15pm Fri 1 Aug 14

mouthalmighty says...

Has the question arisen of where the clothes they sold came from? Surely not clothes banks or charity shop donations?
Has the question arisen of where the clothes they sold came from? Surely not clothes banks or charity shop donations? mouthalmighty
  • Score: 10

8:50pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Harold_Monk says...

Almost every day I see clothes being stolen from the nearby charity collection bin. Bet these two were frequent visitors
Almost every day I see clothes being stolen from the nearby charity collection bin. Bet these two were frequent visitors Harold_Monk
  • Score: 10

7:10am Sat 2 Aug 14

Biscuit says...

Most of the many clothes collection bags stuffed through your letterbox nowadays are fake - people like this lovely couple selling them on ebay or at boot sales.
Most of the many clothes collection bags stuffed through your letterbox nowadays are fake - people like this lovely couple selling them on ebay or at boot sales. Biscuit
  • Score: 10

9:46am Thu 7 Aug 14

white rabbit9 says...

What about all the money the government steal from people, anyone wanna moan about them?. We are talking pennies when it comes to what the government steal from the peasants.

GROW UP!

Learn about what money is ffs.
What about all the money the government steal from people, anyone wanna moan about them?. We are talking pennies when it comes to what the government steal from the peasants. GROW UP! Learn about what money is ffs. white rabbit9
  • Score: -2

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