Former soldier from Dundee admits £18,000 benefit fraud

A former soldier who defrauded Dundee City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions out of more than £18,000 has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Richard Anderson was ordered to do 210 hours of unpaid work at Dundee Sheriff Court after Sheriff George Way heard he had been paying back the money at £200 a month since August last year.

Anderson, who is formerly of Dundee, but now of East Mains in Menstrie, had previously admitted falsely obtaining housing benefit from the council and employment and support allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), amounting to £18,726.54.

The 52-year-old committed the fraudulent activity at the city’s Mary Slessor Square and elsewhere unknown, between January 27 2015 and March 5 2017, by failing to notify the city council and the DWP that he had commenced paid employment and continued claiming benefits.

The court heard that Anderson had one previous conviction that was not an analogous one.

His solicitor, Michael Short, said he had already started repaying the money at £200 per month since August last year.

Mr Short told the court: “He served in the military for 20 years and he is ashamed of his behaviour and wants to make amends and repay it all. It’ll take a long time, but that’s what he wants to do.

“I would ask your lordship to impose a community-based disposal to allow him to do that.”

Sheriff Way said he had favoured a restriction of liberty order, but as Anderson’s employment involved shift working, he would impose unpaid work instead.

He told Anderson: “On the basis that you are making efforts to pay it back and £200 is not a minimal amount, I will place you on a community payback order with unpaid work. It would have been 300 hours, but in view of your early plea, I will reduce that to 210 hours.”

Three accused of separate benefits frauds totalling £50K while living in Dundee