BMW crash driver who tried to rip off council pleads guilty to fraud
12:40pm Saturday 10th March 2012 in News
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 of Golding 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 the application to the council, he falsely claimed he had paid for the repairs himself in cash.
He altered an invoice from the garage by removing the insurance company's name from the form before presenting it to 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.
McDonald appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on February 22 charged with fraud. He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £500 costs.
If he defaults on payments an automatic 28 day prison sentence will be imposed.
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."
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