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Is Trafford Council a soft touch for fraud?

An employee of Trafford Council who lost his job after being caught falsely claiming more than £50,000 from the local authority has been reinstated.

The housing benefit scam was spotted after Andrew Wood was caught last year after boasting to colleagues about getting his rent paid on top of his salary. By that time he and his partner had been paid £52,700. Wood admitted conspiracy to defraud but escaped jail as the judge told the likelihood that he would lose his job was punishment enough given Wood's "mental difficulties."

But when he lost his job Wood appealed and a cross party panel of councillors has given him his job back. They are even giving him four months back pay. Of course one doesn't have the details but despite any mental difficulties he obviously knew what he was doing - the boasting was how he got caught out.

Traffod Council's Conservative leader Cllr Matt Colledge says:

"The council continues to take all cases of benefit fraud extremely seriously, so I was surprised to hear of the result of this. I would like to find out more about this case and the circumstances
that were considered by the independent panel, with a view to putting more stringent processes in place in future."


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