Greedy Courier Caught After Time On The Run

£6,000 conman sentenced to 150 hours community service

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A conman who swindled more than £6,000 in housing benefits and job seekers allowance while working as a courier has been sentenced to 150 hours community service.

John Parker, 33, cheated £6,769 out of taxpayers in a three year deception.

He fraudulently claimed housing benefits from August 2004 while working for Team Support Services in Acton and then Courier Systems.

But council fraud investigators launched a probe in 2004 when mail was returned from his supposed address in Munster Road. In fact Parker had moved to Chiswick and was working but failed to notify the authorities in a bid to scam the system.

Officers planned to confront Parker with the evidence but he failed to attend numerous interviews under caution - choosing to go on the run instead. He was finally traced to an address in Gillingham, Kent by the council's anti-fraud experts and summonses issued.

At West London Magistrates Court Parker pleaded guilty to all the charges of dishonestly failing to declare changes in circumstances and dishonestly making false declarations.

Cllr Adronie Alford, Hammersmith & Fulham Council's cabinet member for housing, said "It angers me that a minority of selfish criminals think it acceptable to try to cheat the system and falsely claim money which would otherwise be used to improve front-line services. Residents will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and neither will this council.

"Prosecutions like this prove that we are actively pursuing benefits cheats to ensure that they are punished and that law-abiding residents do not lose out."

Parker was sentenced to 150 hours community punishment and ordered to pay £390 costs.

June 13, 2007