A MAN who tried to rip off Lambeth Council by claiming more than £4,000 after crashing his BMW has been convicted of fraud.
Junior McDonald, fromGolding Terrace, Longhedge Street, Battersea, recklessly crashed into a bollard on Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, in January 2011, by mounting the pavement while doing a three point turn.
He then tried to claim the crash was the council’s fault and applied for £4,000 compensation, despite already having claimed the money for the repairs from his insurance company.
In his application to the council he falsely claimed that he had paid for the repairs himself in cash, altering an invoice from the garage by removing the insurance company’s name from the form before presenting it the council as ‘proof’ of his outlay.
There was no basis for his claim as there was nothing wrong with the positioning of the bollard, and the accident had been solely his fault.
Council fraud officers investigated and pursued a prosecution.
Mr McDonald appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on Wednesday 22nd February 2012 charged with an offence of fraud under s2 of The Fraud Act 2006.
He pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and was fined £1000 with £500 costs with an automatic 28 day prison sentence if he defaults on payment.
Cllr Paul McGlone, Cabinet Member for Finance on Lambeth Council, said:
“People who try to make money out of local councils by making up spurious claims like this one are stealing from taxpayers.
“Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that there are dishonest people out there who will try to make money by falsely claiming damages from local authorities,
In Lambeth we take this extremely seriously because we are determined to protect the public purse. Our Insurance Claims team will always seek to investigate suspicious claims and prosecute those suspected of fraud.”