A 30 year-old man from St Albans dishonestly made a false statement about his address in order to obtain £21,651 in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

Gokhan Saglam of Ulverston Close will have to repay the money after pleading guilty at a hearing at St Albans Magistrates on Wednesday, August 6. 

That hearing was adjourned until Thursday last week when Saglam was sentenced to a 12-month community order to complete 150 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £575 and a victim surcharge of £60.

The court heard that in 2009, Saglam made a claim for benefit for his family from an address in Ulverston Close, a property owned by his father. 

Later, in 2011, the council received a claim for benefit from a different person living at the property which was supported by a tenancy agreement for the address. 

An investigation revealed that the house at that time appeared to be occupied by workers from Saglam’s takeaway business, rather than his family.

Councillor Brian Ellis, portfolio holder for housing at the council, said: "Benefit fraud is a crime and the council will take action if there is evidence to show that people have made false claims about their circumstances. 

"Where this is proven and there has been an overpayment of benefit, the council will do all it can to recover the sums involved."