Trafford council is reviewing all claims for council tax discount after a couple from Sale were convicted of defrauding the council by not paying the full amount for over 20 years.
The council prosecuted the couple failing to pay the full amount from April 1996 until March this year – even when they moved premises.
Anna Carvell , 57, and her partner Russell Newall , also 57, of Northenden Road, Sale were convicted on July 5 of falsely obtaining a council tax discount from Trafford Council for that period.
Carvell failed to report to the council that Newall was living in the property with her and as a result received a 25 per cent reduction to her Council Tax amounting to £6,118.73 between 1stApril 1996 and 31st March 2018.
She was ordered to carry out 60 hours unpaid work, while Newall was given a 12 month Community Order of 100 hours of unpaid work. Both defendants were also ordered to pay costs of £200 and pay a victim surcharge of £85. In both cases account was taken of their early guilty pleas.
Trafford Council say they have already recovered in full the additional council tax liability created as a result of the discount being removed.
The offence was detected by Council Counter Fraud Officers following a data matching exercise. It highlighted the fact that the couple had been living together for some time whilst continuing to claim the discount on the basis that Carvell was the only adult living in the property.
During the period of the offences they had moved house but continued to claim the discount. Mr Newall had falsely stated he was living elsewhere when the Council had initially questioned who was resident at their current address when they moved there in 2003.
Executive Member for Finance, Mike Cordingley, said: “Falsely claiming council tax discount is illegal and costs the council money that could be spent elsewhere, for example supporting our frontline services.
“Trafford is currently undertaking a council tax discount review with many households being contacted to confirm their eligibility. It’s vital that people report any changes in their circumstances to us as soon as they occur.”